BRegs Blog

A blog to debate the Building Control (Amendment) Regulations (BCAR): The BRegs Blog presents an opportunity for free expression of opinion on BCAR and their implementation. The blog is not representative of any professional body or organisation. Each post represents the personal opinion of that contributor and does not purport to represent the views of all contributors.

PII Insurance increase under SI.9 with no cover for pyrite?

by Bregs Blog admin team

personal-insurance

BRegs Blog admin 13th December 2014

Following the Minister’s warning to professionals on fees, he’s also sent a clear signal that those responsible for defective construction products will be pursued under the new building control regime… (Muscovite Mica). Minister Alan Kelly:

the people who ensured young families would be left in this manner must be followed to the end“.

See Minister Kelly’s comments here.

All Certifiers should take note. We wonder how could an Assigned Certifier possibly know the chemical composition of blocks? Even the Pyrite Panel said this would be impossible. It would seem that all Professionals’ insurance policies exclude pyrite, and are set to increase due to increased liability under BC(A)R SI.9.

Correspondence from a Professional Insurance provider to a contributor in December 2014 illustrate the problem (extracts to follow):

Dear BReg Blog,

I asked a Professional Indemnity Insurance provider the following questions. I would suggest you get your readers to do likewise:

  1. Is there any discount or loading for new certifier duties under BC(A)R SI.9?
  2. I was wondering what standard levels of cover do you provide for sole traders, do you cover pyrite?

This is the reply I received:

I believe most of the insurers apply a pyrite exclusion, sample wording below for your review;

“The Underwriters shall not be liable to indemnify any Insured or to make any payment under this Policy in respect of any Claim, Loss, liability or Defence Costs arising out of, caused by, resulting from, in consequence of, in connection with or in any way involving any of the following:

 22. PYRITE/CONTAMINATED INFILL

any presence or alleged presence of any products or material containing or alleged to contain any form of pyrite, iron sulphite or their derivatives or any contaminated infill material.”

In relation to the new assigned certifier role, I do not think any insurer is awarding discounts for the new role, if anything they are loading their rates for the additional responsibility/exposure taken on. Our main market is keeping their rates static which seems to compare favourably.

We wonder where this leaves consumers, given that Local Authorities still have not increased resources to police the construction materials sector. Certifiers are now responsible for certifying materials (Part D) but are not insured for pyrite in projects.

This may cause some uncomfortable questions by registered professionals, who have consistently been told by their representative bodies that Professional Insurance won’t increase. More worrying is if a certifier is found liable for signing off on pyrite and there is no insurance cover for the claim.

Sounds familiar.

Other posts of interest:

Pyrite legal dispute referred to European Court | Independent 

S.I. 9 and Insurance Claims: Deirdre Lennon MRIAI

“The insurance will sort it out…”

What is PI Insurance? 

Pyrite: the spiraling cost of no Local Authority Inspections

Are Design and Assigned Certifiers risking professional suicide with Pyrite and S.I.9?

Pyrite & SI.9- what happens now?

RTÉ News: Louth housing scheme to be demolished over pyrite

Dáil : Pyrite Remediation Programme: 10th June 2014

Government Reports & Professional Opinion Ignored in S.I.80

Clear and auditable trail: consumer protection? BC(A)R SI.9

HomeBond ‘snub’ over pyrite ‘a matter of serious public concern’ – Committee

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SI.9 Review.. “early in the new year” | Minster Alan Kelly

by Bregs Blog admin team

Dublin_Custom_House

BRegs Blog 13th December 2014

Minster Kelly SI.9 Review.. “early in the new year”

In the following Dáil exchange Brendan Griffin (FG TD) asked Minister Alan Kelly if he intended to revoke SI.9. Minister Kelly responded that he had “…no plans to revoke the Building Control (Amendment) Regulations 2014”.

However Minister Kelly gave a strong indication that the 12-month formal industry review confirmed by industry stakeholders for March 2015 would be brought forward to earlier in the new year. We assume this is a result of weaker than expected economic indicators from the construction sector, a fall-off in house building and delays to capital projects since 1 March. We believe both Minister Kelly and Minister Coffey have received strong representations from self-builders, consumer groups, concerned professionals and BRegs Blog contributors.

The BRegs Blog would like to invite readers for feedback, as a number of contributors are researching and preparing a formal report on this at the moment. We welcome broad input and feedback from industry and economic commentators, policy advisors and consumers in order to be able to give the Minister a full unbiased picture of the impact of the new regulations that is unencumbered by legacy issues through involvement in the negotiations to bring about SI.9.

If any groups have made contributions to the Ministers in their ongoing review process we would we would be glad to receive your contributions. Email: bregsforum@gmail.com

Link to Dáil exchange here.

Extract:

Department of Environment, Community and Local Government

Building Regulations Amendments Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Brendan Griffin (Kerry South, Fine Gael)

539. To ask the Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government if the Building Control (Amendment) Regulations 2014, SI 9, will be revoked; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46099/14]

Alan Kelly (Tipperary North, Labour)

I have no plans to revoke the Building Control (Amendment) Regulations 2014. Over 4,700 new construction projects have been notified to Building Control Authorities across the local government sector since these regulations came into operation on 1 March 2014. Evidence to date suggests that the Construction industry is responding well to the new regulatory framework. Oversight of activity by industry and by local building control authorities has improved immeasurably and authorities have ready access to detailed data on projects via the online Building Control Management System. The online system streamlines building control administration and enables authorities to identify risks and track progress.

A Framework for Building Control Authorities was adopted by the City and County Management Association on 17 July 2014 – these common protocols add clarity, efficiency and consistency to building control activities across the local government sector.

I am satisfied that this key reform of the regulatory framework represents a reasonable and appropriate response to the many building failures that occurred in the past decade and will lead to improved quality within the construction sector. My Department will continue to work closely with local authorities, industry stakeholders and members of the public generally to ensure that all concerned understand their obligations under the regulations and how they can comply with these in practice. A review of the first year of operation of the regulations will be undertaken by my Department in conjunction with local authorities and industry stakeholders. The review will commence early in the New Year and will inform future regulation in this critical area.

Other posts of interest:

SI.9 | Where’s the accountability?

Dáil | Minister Kelly may take steps to control SI.9 ‘exorbitant charges’

‘Onerous’ Building Regulations must be amended – Minister Kelly

Revoke SI.9 | IAOSB / Self-Builders’ Letter to TD’s

SI.9 causing major delays to school projects

SI.9 Cost for 2014 = 3 x Ballymun Regeneration Projects

Iaosb letter to Minister Kelly – Revoke or Revise S.I.9