For more than 30 years, the Federation Of Master Builders has monitored key market indicators and predicted future developments in the UK construction industry.
Delays to reinstatement claims has huge implications on other parts of an Insurance claim. Alternative Accommodation allowances are stretched, and this causes leakage on claim costs with related elements such as rental packs and storage costs. According to the FMB 82% of builders have delayed Insurance jobs due to a lack of materials or delays in them being available. 60% of SME builders undertaking reinstatement works have had to pause work due to a lack of skilled tradespeople and in total 89% of builders have faced delays due to either materials or skills shortages.
While the struggle to hire a bricklayer or carpenter has eased slightly, shortages of general labourers, plasters and roofers are on the rise. The FMB states that the impacts of these shortages on their members businesses has affected builders mental health, with some even considering closing their businesses as a consequence of the current market.
Such is the shortage of personnel that 42% can’t even get hold of general labourers, which is up 6% on last quarter. A huge 97% of builders have faced material price rises, with 93% expecting this to continue into 2022.
With wait times for jobs high, policyholders may feel the pull of unscrupulous builders who seek to exploit the situation. It is at these times when a Professional should oversee the process. Loss Assessors such as Oakleafe Claims offer a project management add on to their claims management service for policyholders after a fire or flood. This will help to avoid the rise in rogue trading that are already being reported. All good builders are facing severe delays. The FMB has even inserted new clauses into their suite of draft contracts to reflect current market instabilities.
The insurance repair industry is not only affected by haulage issues limiting the supply of materials, and skills shortages, but the Government should come up with a comprehensive response. It should start by using the Spending Review and Budget to back a national skills strategy for the construction sector. Until there is an overturn of decades of neglect when it comes to encouraging young people towards a career in construction, there will be little new talent. Prices will continue to rise, and this will have implications on sums insured and premiums.
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