The power of a policy
Did you know that when providing you with a quote for a development site, we can often extend cover to include utilities service providers?
If a legal dispute happens to affect a development, the service providers responsible for installing the utilities – usually gas and electricity suppliers – could see their works disrupted, or even prevented entirely.
Service providers are typically at risk when a piece of land adjoining a development is required for installation works, such as laying pipes or cables, but the land is affected by restrictive covenants, or outstanding rights and easements in favour of third parties (such as a right of way, or mining rights). If the beneficiaries of the rights were to take legal action against the installation works, the service provider would be exposed to all kinds of costs and losses.
A specific and quite common situation we see, is one where the proposed route for the services passes through a strip of land, and the owner of the land is unknown – this could be a grass verge between the development site and the highway, for example. There is often no legal easement to allow installation of the services, and no legal right of way to even allow access for the works.
How can a policy help?
An indemnity policy is often the simplest way to resolve any uncertainties and avoid costly delays, especially in a scenario where it is impractical, if not impossible, to approach the landowner to acquire any needed rights.
Should there ever be a dispute with the landowner in future, our policy is designed to protect the service provider by covering them against any legal defence costs and any damages, compensation and costs that might be awarded against them, as well as the following:
- The cost of obtaining the legal right of way and easement, or wayleave agreement, required for the services, if it’s possible to do so. Alternatively, the policy will cover the cost of acquiring any additional land or necessary rights required for an alternative route for the services, in conjunction with the same cover in place for the developer.
- The cost of dismantling and relocating the services, as well as reinstating the surface of the land to its former condition.
- Any other abortive or contractual costs or liabilities relating to the service installation.
In all cases, our cover relates to the services specifically provided to the developer’s site, and not the overall network.
We can usually offer cover for the service provider as part of the developer’s own policy, or as a standalone policy issued to the service provider directly. For more information, get in touch with one of our expert underwriters by calling 01603 617617, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.