The Federation of Master Builders has a reputation for innovation and in 1981 it launched its Warranty Scheme, the first of its type in the Construction Industry, to give the public further confidence in choosing contractors for carrying out building work. This warranty is known as MasterBond.
The MasterBond Warranty Scheme offers a client a two-year insurance plan to cover defective workmanship and materials. Where major structural work is involved, the scheme is extended to a maximum of ten years. The client has the option whether or not to purchase the cover.
Although registration with the MasterBond Warranty Scheme is voluntary, to join the register applicants must have been in business for at least three years and will have to provide client references and financial information.
For this extra assurance, MasterBond customers pay a small premium on the total cost of work, i.e. £75.00 plus Insurance Premium Tax (IPT)* on a £5,000 contract. This covers them for agreed defects, whether due to faulty workmanship or materials, for the first two years. It also covers structural defects for a further eight years.
*Currently IPT is charged at 5% of the premium, i.e. £75.00 plus IPT = £78.75 total premium.
Work in progress cover remains valid even if the MasterBond Registered Builder has been declared bankrupt or ceased trading through insolvency or if a sole proprietor has died. In this instance the insurance pays a maximum of 25% of the contract price or £10,000 (whichever is the lesser) to cover additional costs incurred in having the contract completed by another MasterBond Registered Builder. Proof of all payments to the original MasterBond Registered Builder will be required.
The Scheme has an arbitration service, which provides independent arbitration to members and their clients in the event of a dispute. Should the MasterBond Registered Builder refuse to comply with the findings of the arbitrator, the Registrar would then appoint another MasterBond Registered Builder to make good the work within the policy limits.
For any claim to be acceptable to the MasterBond Warranty Scheme insurers the MasterBond Registered Builder must have ceased trading, be impossible to trace or be refusing to rectify proven defects or complete the contract. Please refer to your certificates of cover.
The MasterBond Warranty Scheme covers house extensions, loft conversions, refurbishments, central heating installations, double glazing work, wall insulation and other structural and decorative work.
In the vast majority of cases, people have been highly satisfied with the service that has been provided by their chosen MasterBond Registered Builder. However, where a compliant has been made, this has been settled quickly and easily by the conciliation process without the need to resort to arbitration.
WHAT DOES THE WARRANTY SCHEME OFFER ?
A. Protection whilst the work is in progress: meaning that, should the MasterBond Registered Builder cease trading for any of the following reasons
a. the death of the sole trader or sole full time working director
c. compulsory liquidation
d. voluntary liquidation
before the contract has been completed, any proven additional costs incurred through having another MasterBond Registered Builder complete the contract will be paid by the Registration Board to a maximum of 25% of the contract price or £10,000 whichever is the lesser.
B. The satisfaction of knowing that faulty materials or workmanship, if agreed and reported within a period of two years after completion date, will also be rectified at no expense to the client as long as the final account of the MasterBond Registered Builder has been paid in full, receipts for all payments can be provided, and the MasterBond Registered Builder has ceased trading.
C. That, for a further eight years, any major structural damage proven to be attributed to faulty workmanship or materials and reported prior to the expiry date, will also be rectified at no expense to the client, subject to conditions in (B) above and limited to the final contract price plus inflationary increases in line with the Building Price Index. All claims will be subject to a £50 excess.
D. That any defects, which must be reported in writing to the Registrar within the stated period will, if they are agreed and fall within the terms of the policy, be rectified as quickly as possible by use of another MasterBond Registered Builder.
E. Assurance that the MasterBond Registered Builder holds current policies for employers, public and product liability insurances and advises us of their renewal.
F. In the event of a dispute between a client and a MasterBond Registered Builder, the scheme provides a free conciliation service. If this conciliation is unsuccessful, an arbitration facility can be provided to reach a speedy decision, provided that the arbitration covers a matter that might otherwise result as a valid claim under any of the Certificates of Insurance. If a decision is reached in favour of the client, the Registrar will instruct the MasterBond Registered Builder to remedy the defects. Should he refuse, the Board will pay the reasonable cost of having the defects made good by another MasterBond Registered Builder, providing the customer can supply documentary evidence of full payment to the original Builder.