We look at some of the most common questions posed to our underwriters.
Q: Do you provide cover for Adoption of Road?
A: Yes – in fact we have seen an increasing demand for this type of cover, as it becomes more common for homeowners to take possession before a site development and the supporting infrastructure is completed.
Our policy provides security for homeowners in the absence of a Section 38 (the adoption of roads) and/or 104 Agreement (the adoption of sewers) for a new development site, protecting them from direct demands by the local authority for payment to bring the roads and sewers up to adoptable standards if the developer fails to. Our policies are available for the homeowner, as well as a lender-only option.
We recently settled two claims on policies taken out on properties on the same street, one purchased in 2013 and the other in 2015. The Section 38 Agreement had not been completed with the Local Authority, so the process was not yet in place for the roads to be adopted when the development completed.
When the developer was declared insolvent in 2017, the council informed the residents that the road would have to be brought up to adoptable standard, which included putting in street lighting, at their own cost. With the adoption fees required by the council, the total cost per house was £1,000, which we paid to each of the two claimants.
Given the increasing strain on public funding, it is becoming more common for local councils to pursue individual homeowners for the costs of these works in the absence of the developer. So what may once have been considered a comfort policy is increasingly proving to be a vital protection.