The New Zealand Certified Builders Association (NZCB) has announced its own mandatory building guarantee insurance Halo has reached more than $5 billion of cover. However, the trade association pointed to a significant difference in uptake of Halo in some parts of the country than others.
Since its launch in 2016, Halo now covers more than 13,000 residential housing projects across New Zealand. Of those, 75% are in the North Island and 27% are in Auckland. NZCB claims this reflects higher levels of building activity in Auckland than other regions but may also reflect a wider lack of awareness of the importance of having a building guarantee in place and of the benefits of Halo in particular.
NZCB also mentioned the recently released national consumer survey 2018 from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), which shows building and construction as ranking in the top five for consumer complaints with particular concerns raised around the time it takes to get problems fixed.
Having a building guarantee in place makes it easier to resolve any serious issues, but not all building guarantees are the same, so it’s important for consumers to do their homework, NZCB chief executive Grant Florence said.
“We know from a separate independent consumer survey we commissioned last year, that there are still a lot of people who are prepared to take the risk of undertaking major building work without having any kind of guarantee in place,” Florence noted.
Halo is a 10-year residential building guarantee, which is independently managed. It is underwritten by a syndicate at Lloyd’s of London and is only available to people who build or renovate with an NZCB approved builder. Halo covers projects with values ranging from a $9,000 project to the single largest cover for an $11.5 million project. The average contract value nationally is $389,000.
“Approximately a third of all builders in New Zealand are members of NZCB, so if Kiwis are using other builders they won’t have access to our building guarantee,” Florence added.