Japanese Knotweed Insurance Backed Guarantee is Safe!

Japanese Knotweed | 12th May 2016

What’s included in an insurance backed guarantee for Japanese knotweed?

An insurance backed guarantee for Japanese knotweed (an IBG) should provide a client with the security that knotweed treatments will continue in the event that the contracted company cannot fulfil their obligations.

Any claim should be made direct to the insurer (they will need to see the relevant paperwork in order to assess the claim) who will then do the leg-work in finding a suitable alternative service provider. In this case, ‘suitable’ means  Japanese knotweed specialists that are accredited with the PCA (Property Care Association). A Japanese knotweed IBG is different from a standard company guarantee in that an additional level of security is provided – a company guarantee will not be valid if the company goes out of business! Lenders prefer insurance backed guarantees for knotweed because they offer more protection to the home owner and, of course, the lenders themselves.

Why do I need an insurance backed guarantee for Japanese knotweed treatments?

This is pretty self-explanatory; no guarantee means no security, a situation which home buyers and lenders really don’t like. Where any form of lending is required for a property affected by a knotweed infestation, a good Japanese knotweed guarantee is an absolute must. Imagine this scenario – two identical homes on the same street that are near the same knotweed infestation, one house with an IBG and one without. Which house is going to sell first and sell at the asking price?!

What’s the difference between the Japanese knotweed guarantees on the market?

Fortunately, this isn’t as bewildering as comparing energy tariffs or car insurance deals. Insurance backed guarantees for Japanese knotweed tend to fall into three categories. Let’s look at each category quickly.

1.     Expensive

These IBGs tend to be offered by companies who have few recognised accreditations or who use untested treatment methods and, therefore, are considered ‘high risk’ by the insurer. If you’re paying more than £1000 for standard a ten year IBG, ask yourself why.

2.     Worthless

As with most walks of life, there are products and services that just don’t work or aren’t worth the paper they are written on. It’s always worth asking a few probing questions when finding out about a Japanese knotweed IBG (and getting proof!). Is it a bespoke policy? What is the relationship between the contractor and the insurer? Is the IBG transferable to new owners? How long has the contractor been operating? Is the contractor a specialist and what accreditations do they hold (are they independently vetted?) If you’re not happy with any of the answers provided, look elsewhere.

3.    Value for Money

The opposite of the two categories above, a decent Japanese knotweed IBG won’t cost the earth, will be a bespoke policy that backs up the service provided by an established contractor and will be transferable whenever the property is sold. Information about the policy will be available whenever requested.

Now, you knew this bit was coming, so it’ll be no surprise when we say that PBA Solutions offer great value insurance backed guarantees for Japanese knotweed (see point 3 above!) provided by GPI (Guarantee Protection Insurance). The policy was developed through extensive talks and consultations organised by the PCA along with the RICS and the Council of Mortgage Lenders, resulting in a policy that provides the highest level of cover, aimed squarely at knotweed-related property issues.

All of our Japanese knotweed Management Plans are reviewed by our insurer before an IBG is issued, ensuring that we provide high quality guarantees at very competitive prices for all of our customers.

If you have any further questions about PBA Solutions insurance backed guarantees for Japanese knotweed, please call us now on 0203 174 2187 for friendly advice or email info@pba-solutions.com.


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