Structural warranty provider reports robust Q1-Q3 trading despite challenges

ONE of the UK’s largest providers of structural warranties has reported better-than-expected figures for the first three quarters of 2020, despite the coronavirus pandemic and restrictions affecting the construction sector.

Units registered with LABC Warranty fell just 11% from January to September year-on-year, comparing favourably to recent industry figures reported in Housebuilder magazine showing a 30% fall across the new-home build sector*.

The first lockdown period was bookended by record months for LABC Warranty, with a 69% year-on-year increase in unit registrations in February followed by a 35% increase in June.

The bounce back has continued through the summer and into autumn and quotes have also risen to record high levels, with the latest numbers for October showing a 47% increase on the same month last year.

LABC Warranty, which operates across England and Wales, adopted remote inspections during the first lockdown while improving online services for customers. The organisation worked closely with builders and developers to adopt safe practices as sites returned to work.

Founded in 2007 to partner with Local Authority Building Control (LABC), LABC Warranty also strengthened its panel of A-rated in insurers in July by adding HSB to provide warranties for new homes, social housing, private rental, commercial and self-build projects.

The business has maintained on-site inspections during the current lockdown, with all support services operating remotely as it seeks to fulfil continuing demand from the sector.

Jacki Goodman, Managing Director of LABC Warranty, said despite ongoing uncertainty the company’s order book remained strong and while challenging, the year had been productive for the business.

She said: “Despite the pandemic and challenges in the latent defects insurance market, business has remained solid and we are heading towards the end of the year in a position of strength.

“We are working as normal through the current lockdown and that is testimony to the resilience the business, our ability to innovate and the continued demand for warranty cover in the new-build sector.

“With significant changes in building regulations in the pipeline and continued pressure to build the homes the country needs, LABC Warranty and our partners LABC are in a great place to help developers tackle these pressures and build future-ready homes that are safe, comfortable and desirable.”

Martin Taylor, LABC’s Director of Regulatory Policy, added: This year has been challenging for everyone and particularly for those in construction who have been in the front line of Covid safe working.

"Our partnership with LABC Warranty combines technical expertise along with local knowledge and experience to help house builders navigate changing regulations, standards and all the new requirements to make sure new homes and their occupants are safe and protected.”

* ”New home registrations down 30%” - https://www.house-builder.co.uk/news/new-home-registrations-down-30-nhbc/