What is NHBC Buildmark Cover ?

What does NHBC cover? 

NHBC Buildmark Cover is a ten year insurance policy divided into four main parts: 

1. Cover before completion 

2. The first 2 years 

3. Cover in years 3 to 10 

4. Additional cover in years 3 to 10 where NHBC's subsidiary carried out the building control 

NHBC cover before completion 

If, due to insolvency or fraud, the builder does not start building or converting your home or fails to finish it, NHBC will reimburse the money you have paid the builder for the home that cannot be recovered from him. If the property is not finished, NHBC can arrange for the property to be finished in accordance with its Standards. There is a financial limit of £10, 000 or 10% of the original purchase price (whichever is the greater) to this part of the cover.

The first 2 years after completion

For the first 2 years, Buildmark covers you against any physical damage to the home caused by a defect which results from the builder failing to meet NHBC Standards. This part of the cover runs from the date of legal completion of the first sale of the home (date of entry in Scotland) or, if later, the date NHBC agrees the home substantially complies with NHBC's requirements.


Under this part of Buildmark, the builder is responsible for any repairs necessary. You must report any faults to the builder in writing as soon as possible, and you should keep a copy of any correspondence in this regard. If the builder fails to rectify the problems, NHBC offers a free Resolution Service which aims to resolve disputes between you and the builder. Under the Resolution Service, NHBC can also help arrange the remedial work needed to put things right if the builder fails to do so. If the builder is insolvent, then NHBC insures his obligations.


Please remember that the builder is not responsible for items such as normal shrinkage or normal condensation due to the property 'drying out', general wear and tear and damage arising from failure to maintain the property.

NHBC cover in years 3 to 10

From 1 January 2003 NHBC Buildmark covers you against the full cost, if it is more than £500 at April 1999 prices (indexed), of putting right any physical damage to the home caused by a defect in any one of the specified parts of the building. Buildmark covers:

  • foundations
  • load-bearing walls
  • non load-bearing partition walls
  • wet-applied wall plaster
  • external wall rendering and external vertical tile hanging
  • load-bearing parts of the roof
  • tile and slate coverings to pitched roofs
  • ceilings
  • load-bearing parts of the floors
  • floor decking, screeds and staircases where these fail to support normal loads
  • retaining walls necessary for the structural stability of the home, its garage or
  • other  permanent outbuilding
  • multiple glazing panes to external windows and doors (in converted properties
  • they must be newly installed at the time of conversion)
  • below-ground drainage for which you are responsible
  • defective chimneys and flues causing a danger to the health and safety of occupants


From year 3 NHBC  does not cover items such as gutters, central heating, internal plaster finishes, fixtures and fittings etc. . Nor does it cover you against any claim that is insured elsewhere, or by your household insurance policy ( e.g. storm damage to roof tiles).


NHBC Buildmark is an insurance policy which covers you against specified risks which could be very expensive to put right. It does not provide cover for general wear and tear, condensation, normal shrinkage, damage arising from failure to maintain the property, or minor faults which first appear after the second year. For full details you should read your copy of the NHBC Buildmark booklet which specifies the cover provided.

When you move in, you should also receive NHBC's 'Guide To Your New Home' from your builder. It contains useful information about 'running in' your new home.
Only builders and developers who can demonstrate financial security and technical competence can be registered with NHBC. They must follow the NHBC Rules and build homes to NHBC Standards of construction

NHBC Standards are the definitive standards for house construction and conversion in the UK and have been developed over many years. They are set by a committee representing all relevant organisations interested in improving the quality of new and converted homes. Builders, consumer organisations and professional institutions are represented on the committee. They take into account the Building Regulations, British Standards and NHBC's own claims record of defects.