What is party wall insurance and why is it important?
Party wall insurance comes into play when negligence, usually against your contractor cannot be clearly established. This means that the damage caused has not been sudden, identifiable and unexpected but has occurred over a longer period of time clearly as a result of the works.
A good example of this situation is where the structural works have been undertaken to the property involved in the contract but subsequently give rise to structural difficulties between that and the neighbouring property.
These difficulties typically exhibit themselves over the first three to six months following the work. They could be a result of a number of different things, including but not limited to the following:
- unsatisfactory work carried out by the contractor
- inaccurate calculations on behalf of the structural engineers
- changes in ground conditions caused directly or indirectly by the works
- unexplained changes to the loading and structural integrity of the building
Party wall insurance comes into play when negligence, usually against your contractor cannot be clearly established.
In certain situations, party wall claims can run to many hundreds of thousands of pounds without clearly being attributable to any single event.
It is important that when assessing the indemnity limit for your party wall insurance you consider the value of the property around you and the expectations of the occupants therein.