We look at some of the most common questions posed to our underwriters.
A: SCIP covers title defects not identified as affecting the property prior to purchase, but which may surface after completion, such as fraud and forgery, adverse title or search entries, misrepresentation by the seller and boundary disputes.
Any known risks, such as a missing document potentially containing restrictive covenants, rights and easements (the details of which are unknown), which are noted on the registered title can be covered with a specific legal indemnity policy. If a legal indemnity policy is required to cover a known risk, and is arranged alongside SCIP to cover any unknown risks too, we can discount the SCIP premium by 25%.
Q: Can rights to light cover still be obtained when there were objections at the planning stage referring to loss of light?
A: As you'd expect, we have to be careful when looking at these enquiries, as much depends on who said what, how strongly, and what their potential losses may be.
We have handled a few cases where neighbours have objected to planning and mentioned loss of light, though not specifically claiming rights to light, and we've still been able to offer cover. In instances such as this, many insurers will instantly decline to offer cover. We would consider each case on its merits, and in order to enable us to offer cover, we sometimes include additional terms such as an excess, which means the insured would pay, for example, the first £25,000 of any claim.
Q: Under your Judicial Review policy, can you extend cover to include delay costs if a claim is made?
A: Yes we can. If a judicial review application is made, depending on the circumstances, there's a risk that the judge may award an interim injunction while the application is considered. If this occurs, the developer will have to temporarily stop construction works on the site, which will incur delay costs during the period of the injunction, until the ruling is made.
If you or your client would like to cover this additional risk, we can extend our policy for an additional premium to include cover for delay costs which may be incurred, such as interest payable on capital monies borrowed for the works, and contractual penalties payable during the delay (excluding staffing costs).
If you have any questions that you'd like to pose to our experts, please drop us a line via firstname.lastname@example.org.