Are you in the middle of a construction or renovation project for an apartment, house or building? It is necessary to be covered by a structural damage insurance.
Who is concerned ? What does it cover? How to take out the structural damage insurance? We take a look at the questions you ask yourself in this article.
Who should take out structural damage insurance?
Structural damage insurance is compulsory for any site liable to damage the structure and call its structure into question. In practice, if a ten-year insurance is taken out by the workers carrying out the work, a structural damage insurance must supplement it, whether you are an individual or a professional.
Article L. 242-1 of the Insurance Code regulates the damage insurance structure by specifying that “Any natural or legal person who, acting as owner of the work, seller or agent of the owner of the work , has construction work carried out, must take out before the opening of the site, on his own behalf or that of the successive owners, an insurance guaranteeing, apart from any search for responsibilities, the payment of all the repair work of the damage of the nature of those for which the builders are responsible within the meaning of article 1792-1, the manufacturers and importers or the technical inspector on the basis of article 1792 of the Civil Code ”.
In other words, the work damage insurance obligation applies:
- To real estate sellers and developers
- To individual home builders
- To the condominium manager
- To individual contracting authorities
Reference must be made to the insurance policy number in any real estate sale contract, as well as in the construction contract. In the event of non-compliance with this obligation, the professional offender is exposed to civil (up to 75,000 euros fine) and criminal (up to 6 months imprisonment) penalties.
As for the private owner, he does not incur such penalties, but will experience great difficulty in reselling his property in the ten years following construction in the absence of damage to the structure. In addition, he will not benefit from the protection provided by this insurance if he notices a faulty workmanship or a construction defect …
What does the structural damage insurance cover?
Principle of structural damage insurance
The purpose of the structural damage insurance is to quickly compensate the owner of a built structure for any damage covered by a ten-year guarantee. Unlike the ten-year period where it is necessary to seek the responsibility of the intervenor and most of the time initiate legal proceedings, the structural damage guarantee allows repairs to be carried out without delay.
It is then up to the insurer having compensated for the damage to the structure to engage the responsibility of the interveners who participated in the construction, in order to be reimbursed for the sums paid to the owner.
Risks covered by the structural damage
Structural damage insurance covers the same risks as decennial liability, namely:
- Damage affecting the solidity of the structure
- Damage rendering the property unfit for its intended purpose
It therefore includes construction defects and damage that may affect the structure, as well as equipment that cannot be separated from the building. It is valid even if the damage results from a defect in the floor. The following events will be supported, without this list being exhaustive:
- Roof collapse
- Water infiltration through the facade or roof
- Floor sagging
- Thermal insulation failure of the walls or roof
Equipment inseparable from the structure may be destroyed to carry out repairs covered by the structure damage insurance. They are therefore also covered:
- Removal of existing elements to repair the frame
- Refitting or replacing dismantled or destroyed items
In short, the damage works comes to restore the frame in state, in accordance with what one can expect of a house, an apartment or a building. It only applies to structural work and does not cover elements of an aesthetic nature. Indeed, these do not compromise the solidity of the structure.
How to take out the structural damage insurance?
Subscription and entry into force of the structural damage guarantee
Structural damage insurance must be taken out before the site opening date. It is valid for 10 years, but only takes effect after the expiry of the guarantee period for perfect completion of the work.
As a general rule, it therefore covers the contracting authority for a period of 9 years, during the period extending from the end of the guarantee of perfect completion to the end of the ten-year guarantee.
However, it intervenes during the guarantee of perfect completion in the event of manifest bad faith of the craftsman or the company having carried out the work. Thus, it can compensate you after formal notice remained unsuccessful, whether before or after acceptance of the work.
The damage certificate, the key to building or selling
To take out your book damage insurance contract, the insurer may ask you for a number of documents, including:
- Decennial liability insurance
- Project owner’s qualifications
- A preliminary study of the soil
In exchange for the contract taken out, the insurer issues you a work damage insurance certificate, mentioning among other things:
- The opening date of the site
- The estimated date of reception of the works
- The guarantees and deductibles provided for in the contract
To obtain this famous certificate, to submit to the bank or the notary, we provide you with an online damage insurance comparator. It allows you to find your book damage contract at the best value for money.