10 Year Newbuild Property Insurance “Seguro Decenal”

For almost 20 years it has been obligatory for “promotors”, in most cases the developer, to take out a “Seguro Decenal” to cover buildings should they be subject to any significant defects that are likely to affect the structural stability of it or the safety of any occupants.


There are many common issues affecting newbuild owners and how this relates to the 10 year cover. It is important to note that most builders will often opt for the basic obligatory cover, and while many builders will not take out any additional cover elements that affect the habitation of a building may need to be rectified by the builder up to 3 years from the date of completion. After 3 years it is only the remaining 7 years of the 10 year policy that can be called upon.


Owners will therefore often find themselves with problems after 3 years and it is only those defects that affect structural ability that can realistically be pursued by the insurers. Therefore, the correct diagnosis of problems and identification of structural relevance is very important.




A Typical Post Purchase Calendar



The First 15 days: Owners should report any evident defects to the builder, who then has 28 days to rectify them. Significant omissions may even give the owner an opportunity to withdraw from the purchase, though in practice this may be lengthy and costly to achieve.


The First year: In the first year the builder is liable to correct all defects reported to them. (Excluding wear and tear or damage by misuse). What’s important here is that the builder repairs defects properly and doesn’t just bodge them up to last for a short period. The first year is the best opportunity to get things put right properly.


The right repair works are therefore essential including the use of the right materials, otherwise problems are likely to reoccur later (when claiming may be very difficult). While a conscientious builder may opt to properly correct any problems, others will be looking for the cheapest option. Unfortunately, some of the most serious defects make take some time to show up.


The Second and third years: Over the next two years, the builder is still responsible for repairing major defects that would make the property uninhabitable or affect the enjoyment of the same (this is a very grey area, but typically a court might try to determine if the defect prevents the property from being lived in), so a leaking gas pipe, excessive mould or failed security, could reasonably be argued as defects that the builder should remedy. However, such issues can be difficult to detect. While flooding from a leaking pipe or roof may be the obvious responsibility of the builder, lesser issues may not get any response and BE WARNED! Some builders can be impossible to pin down, evading responsibility by claiming insolvency, changing company their name or simply disappearing.



Unfortunately, some builders see the 10-year obligatory insurance as a way out of responsibility and in extreme cases it has resulted in builders skimping on crucial details such as foundations.




The First ten years: The builder must take out seguro decenal insurance. This is the 10-year policy covering the costs of repair in the event of a structural failure in the building. Remember it may well not cover other defects, so if you can’t find the builder or they simply won’t repair, the 10-year policy may not be of any help, other than for cases of structural failure.


In our next article we will focus on what you can do to protect your newbuild even further.


Information provided by Mark Paddon BSc Hons Building Surveying. MCIOB. Structural Surveys and purchase advice in the Valencia region.




T: 962807247  M: 653733066


Latest Articles

Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here