Frequently asked questions about retrospective warranties


There can often be confusion about what various types of construction insurance mean, so we’ve compiled some of the most common questions about retrospective warranties to help clear things up.

What does a retrospective warranty do?

A retrospective warranty is essentially an insurance policy that provides some protection for the owner of a property if any major structural problems or defects become evident within the first 10 years after:

  • The property was built, if a new-build
  • The property was renovated
  • The property was converted e.g. from a commercial building to a residential building
  • The property was extended

A retrospective warranty is only needed if there is not already a structural warranty in place for the property.

Why would a developer or builder need a retrospective warranty?

In an ideal world, the builder or developer would ensure that a standard structural warranty was in place throughout the build or project. This would mean that regular inspections are done during the process to help ensure quality standards on all fronts. However, sometimes a builder or developer can come into a project that is already partly or even fully completed, so a retrospective warranty is needed to put that protection in place.

Do you need a retrospective warranty in place to sell a property?

It’s not a legal requirement to have a warranty in place before selling a property, but most mortgage lenders require that there is one before they will agree to lend a potential buyers the funds for the purchase. Therefore, it’s important to get a retrospective warranty if a standard structural warranty isn’t already in place.

What is the difference between a retrospective warranty and a completed home warranty?

A retrospective warranty and a completed home warranty are essentially two different names for the same thing. Both will cover a completed or nearly completed construction project in the event that major structural problems come to light that have been caused by issues including, but not limited to:

  • Design defects
  • Defective construction work
  • Substandard or inappropriate materials used for the project

Get in touch with us to find out more about retrospective warranties and other types of construction insurance.

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Advantage Home Construction Insurance (AHCI) provides structural defects insurance – operating nationally with offices in Warrington, London and Birmingham – offering development-related insurances and a service designed to give customers peace of mind.

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