Should you get property search insurance?

First-time Buyer | May 21, 2024

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There are many different types of insurance out there, so it should come as no surprise that the UK’s insurance sector is the fourth largest on the planet. From home, car and life insurance to travel, health and pet insurance, there’s a policy to cover you, your loved ones or your beloved furry friends for every eventuality.

Unbeknown to most, certain elements of the property purchase process can also be covered to protect you should the worst happen. One particular stage that is well known for incurring delays is the search process…

The importance of the property search

Property searches, including that all-important local authority search, are beneficial for a number of reasons.

Property searches give you the information you need to proceed with your purchase with complete confidence. This includes if the property you are looking to buy has been affected by planning or building control issues, is at risk of flooding or subsidence, and how it is connected to the public water supply and sewer. Location-specific, commons and chancel repair searches may also help you glean further details to avoid any nasty surprises long after you move and begin to make your new home your own.

As a crucial part of due diligence, completing property searches is recommended. It’s also a legal obligation for many buyers as Zoopla explains:

“If you’re buying a home with a mortgage then searches are a legal obligation. That’s because banks and building societies want to be sure there aren’t any issues which could affect the value of the property they’re lending you money for. But if you’re a cash buyer (which means you don’t need a mortgage), then searches are optional. Even if you don’t require a mortgage, your solicitor will rightly advise carrying out searches.”

Why it’s worth getting coverage

Property search insurance, or search indemnity insurance as it is also known, is becoming more and more popular amongst prospective buyers.

The search process is after all blighted by delays, with the worst offending local authorities taking up to 116 working days to complete the process and return the necessary documentation. Despite buyers’ best efforts to keep the search process on track, delays can happen and could even mean sellers look elsewhere for interest to complete their purchase.

The benefits of property search insurance

By taking out property search insurance, you can gain coverage to protect yourself from the issues that are caused by ongoing search delays. Premiums are relatively low for property search insurance, making it an easy choice for those looking to proceed with added protection.

While this type of search insurance safeguards the property buyer, there are other search indemnity insurance types that protect the seller. These policies are taken out in cases where the property may be worth less than the advertised price due to the problems that may be identified via a local authority search.

It is important to note that certain types of search insurance cannot be taken out by the individual, and instead are purchased on their behalf by a solicitor or insurance provider. They can also be subject to approval by the mortgage lender.

Keen to make sense of the complicated world of search insurance? In addition to helping everyone get the independent mortgage advice they need, we also provide support with insurance. Please contact our specialists today for guidance.

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YOUR HOME MAY BE REPOSSESSED IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP REPAYMENTS ON YOUR MORTGAGE. A typical fee is £295. Ask for a personalised illustration. The Mortgage Bureau is a trading name of A.M. Mortgages (UK) Ltd. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate some aspects of Buy to Let mortgages.

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