Is code of compliance required to insure a home?
Generally code of compliance is required to insure a home. But don’t worry, there are situations where we will cover your house without full code of compliance.
Most Common Reasons for Non-compliance
House or addition was built before code of compliance requirements
Current building code of compliance requirements came into force in 1992. This means often homes built before this do not have code of compliance as it simply wasn’t needed.
Records of building consent have been lost or not known
It is surprisingly common for house’s not to have a record of their code of compliance sign off. A number of councils had fires and floods before records were stored electronically. Otherwise records of building consent can be lost over time.
Code of compliance was not obtained on part of the home (e.g. extension)
Often a previous owner may have made improvements to your house without getting full building consent sign off. This is most common for an additional deck or un-consented garage at the home.
What would we require to insure?
If any of the above reasons is why your home does not have a compliance certificate we can consider insuring it. If your home does not have a code compliance certificate this does not always mean your home is non-compliant, especially if records have simply been lost. We would need confirmation of the following:
a) Home is structurally sound and well maintained, with no known reasons for its lack of compliance
b) Confirmation that the building or addition would have met building requirements at the time it was built
No known reasons means anything other than that it was simply not requested, required or lost. We also want to make sure we are not insuring a home that is not up to building standards.
Other Reasons for Non-compliance
New build or recently built property
When a house is built it legally must obtain a code of compliance certificate. This is normally done before the home-owner can move in. If your house is a new or recent build it may not have code of compliance but will require standard house insurance. Occasionally there will be a situation where you have moved in, but no consent has been obtained as there is still minor works being done.
What would we require for a new build?
Before we can consider insurance on a non-compliant new build, we need confirmation that it meets the following requirements:
a) House has practical completion, including a kitchen, and power/water supply
b) House is structurally complete, fully secure and lockable
c) Someone is living in it
d) There is no major or structural work still to be completed
If your property meets the above criteria we can consider cover. You will need to disclose that there is no current code of compliance certificate obtained.
Conditions That Will Apply
If we agree to provide cover on your house without code of compliance there are conditions that will apply. It is important that you are aware of these and know what they mean. These conditions are as below:
1. Additional costs associated with making the home compliant will not be covered
We will pay to rebuild a non-compliant deck on your home that has burnt down. However, you will need to pay for the extra costs if you want to get code of compliance sign off on the new deck.
2. Any loss that directly arises from the lack of compliance will not be covered
For example, if your non-compliant deck collapses and also causes damage to the house. If the collapse of the deck is later proved to be a direct cause of its non-compliance (i.e. the deck was not up to building standards), then the damage to the deck and home would not be covered.
Note that any other loss that is not a direct result of non-compliance (such as a storm or fire) remains covered.
3. Any loss that arises from the construction perils to complete the home and obtain compliance are not covered
If there are still major works being done at your property these are not covered. If a roof is being installed and it collapses, this should be covered under a contract works or construction insurance policy as this is not covered under a standard house insurance policy.
4. Building consent obtained within 30 days (if your property is a new build)
This gives you some time to get code of compliance approved. If you need longer than this you will need to let us know.
How can I get a quote?
If your house does not have full code of compliance and meets the above criteria you can go ahead and get a quote. If you proceed with the quote you will need to disclose that the property does not have full consent when you answer the declaration questions during the sign up application.
Examples of where we can provide cover
- Compliance certificate is not signed off as driveway is unfinished. Driveway concrete will not be laid until construction is complete on the neighbouring home as trucks are using the driveway for access. The home is structurally complete, fully secure and lockable, and is being lived in. Cover was able to be provided.
- Final code compliance check was completed by the council in December, minor and non-structural defects were identified, and repairs where completed. Due to the Christmas break council staff were not able to return to issue the code compliance certificate until mid January. The home was structurally complete, fully secure and lockable, and being lived in. Cover was able to be provided.
Examples of where we are unable to provide cover
We can not offer insurance if your home does not meet the above requirements, or does not have code compliance certificate for reasons such as the following:
- Code of compliance certificate was applied for, but the building work contained defects which were not rectified.
- House was self built and consents were never obtained.
- Home is a converted building (such as woolshed or garage) and the conversion was not consented.
- A certificate of acceptance was applied for and not issued because the building work contained defects.
- A safe and sanitary report confirmed the building work was unsafe and/or unsanitary.
- The builders report on the home identified that the building was not structurally sound.
How do you legalise existing building work?
Building work carried out before 1 July 1992 without the appropriate building approval requires a safe and sanitary report. A safe and sanitary report does not serve as an approval of the unauthorised work, merely a reassurance that the building is safe and sanitary. You will need to engage a professional such as a private building consultant or registered engineer to complete this report. It will be held on file with the local council.
A certificate of acceptance is the appropriate way to legalise any work done after 1 July 1992. It provides limited assurance that the council has inspected the home and the completed building work complies with the building code at the time and contains no obvious defects.
Learn more about the different types of house insurance: