In the second of our series of articles looking back at 2020 and forward to 2021, Carlton Jones, Director of the Metal Cladding and Roofing Manufacturers Association, says in amongst all the challenges in 2020, the issues around renewing Professional Indemnity Insurance (PII) and increases in premiums have been hard for the sector to contend with…
It would be an understatement to say that 2020 has been a challenging year for the construction industry with record breaking rain and flooding during February, followed by Covid-19 lockdown from late March and now with social distancing raising further difficulties associated with working practices.
The events over the last ten months have made us all more aware of the need to look for new solutions and the rise in the use of Zoom and other video conferencing systems linked with home working has for most of us resulted in less business miles and more opportunity to focus on technical and commercial developments, and what the industry is going to look like going forward.
During the last 12-18 months, the industry has faced many regulatory changes and from 2021, MCRMA expects to see the implementation of a radical and wide-ranging set of measures to improve the competence of those who specify and fund, design, construct, inspect, maintain and operate buildings. Training is one part of the process and this reaches across all parts of the building’s implementation and operational phases and should focus on both technical and practical skill. However, companies and individuals must recognise their expertise and ability but equally they should acknowledge their limitations and challenge occurrences which don’t appear to be right.
2020 has also been challenging for industry to renew Professional Indemnity Insurance (PII). PII is a must-have element for any business or individual offering a design, consultancy or inspection service and the insurance industry has been seriously restricting the availability of the service. In many cases, PII has been withdrawn at the point of renewal or small print has been expanded to constrain activity. Premiums have also increased dramatically with corresponding excess charges. The construction sector cannot continue without PII and there is a need for Government to act to resolve the situation, once and for all, with the insurance industry. We look forward to seeing some progress in this area in the New Year.
The incoming regulatory reform will ensure that buildings are constructed in accordance with the approved plans, relevant Building Regulations and Codes of Practice. Inspection and quality control at each stage of design, development and installation is a key factor in achieving the end goal and minimising performance gaps. To this end, MCRMA will continue to focus on widening the scope of its membership to include those system installers who are involved in industrial, commercial and warehouse construction, together with the rural and agricultural building sectors. This cohesive link across design, manufacturing, installation and inspection will provide a robust as-built solution for the client and end user.