It is a source of frustration for many owners of new-build homes and this can remain an issue even after the Royal Mail has recognised the postcode of the housing development.
The issue appears to originate with administrative delays in getting new postcodes generated by the Royal Mail added to insurer databases. When a developer or house builder builds a new property, they have to contact the relevant local authority’s planning and building department once they near completion. This ensures that the address is officially recognised.
A council officer then has to decide on an address including a postcode and registers it with the Royal Mail Address Development Centre. The new postcode is not “live” until the staff at the Royal Mail centre are informed that mail can now be delivered to that address. This usually means a phone call from the developer or builder to the Royal Mail. Once that authority is given, which is usually done within 24 hours, any company can then find the new postcode on the Royal Mail’s postcode address file.
However, there’s no guarantee that a third party such as a bank, utility company or insurer will update their database accordingly or in a timely fashion. This very much depends on how frequently the company updates their databases, which might vary from daily to weekly or even monthly. Of course, this will also depend on the cost involved.
The upshot is that some people in new-build homes can be left ‘in limbo’, sometimes for months, while they wait for that update. Obviously, this is far from ideal.
A spokesperson for the Association of British Insurers said: “Insurers will be aware that, on occasions, there may be delays in the full address being registered but will want to be able to assess the risk and quote for as many new builds wherever possible”. This difficulty can relate to motor insurance as well as home.
“Anyone moving to a new-build home should get in touch with the building company/developer and Royal Mail as early as possible to ensure the address is registered.”
Working with a trusted broker such as A-Plan can help alleviate this headache. Because we provide a personal and local service, we work on your behalf to ensure that your insurer has updated their database as soon as possible, and if this has not been done, work to find a solution. Our relationships with the insurers in our panel mean that we can contact the right person and avoid the “computer says no” problem.
If you need any assistance with insurance for your new-build home, please get in touch with your nearest branch who will be delighted to help.