Regulatory: ABI Advice on Housing Materials Accepted by Govt Committee

report out today from the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee has adopted an Association of British Insurers (ABI) recommendation to help increase the safe use of modern methods of construction (MMC) through the development of a digital database of buildings using these materials.

Appearing in front of the Committee in April, ABI Director of General Insurance Policy James Dalton explained the importance of insurers having access to more detailed information on how non-traditional properties are constructed as this will help the industry better understand the durability of the materials used in construction, help to provide insurance cover and facilitate the carrying out of proper repairs.

The Committee’s recommendations also echo the ABI’s calls for an urgent review of all building regulations, the desire to see better testing and certification of products and the development of skills to ensure that MMC buildings are not just cheap and quick to build, but that they are built to a high standard and will be resilient for the future.

Commenting on today’s report, James Dalton said:

“The country badly needs more housing and modern methods of construction have an important role to play in achieving that objective. Currently both building residents and their insurers can be left in the dark about how non-traditional properties have been constructed and what materials have been used. As MMC becomes more mainstream it makes sense to harness digital technology to keep track of the materials and processes involved in constructing each building so these properties can be appropriately maintained, repaired and insured.

There are also clear advantages to ensuring the Fire Service can access this information in the case of a major incident. Given these benefits, I hope the Government adopts the Committee’s recommendations. The insurance industry stands ready to play our part in helping to achieve them.”

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