For the many thousands of Safestyle customers it would be fair to say that news of them going into administration took them by surprise. As one of the largest, most well-known and established installation companies in the UK their collapse has certainly left a number of customers wondering what their next step would be.
Thankfully, the glass and glazing industry was one of the first to be regulated back in 2002 with the introduction of FENSA. FENSA are a Competent Person Scheme that enables installers to self-certify their work against building regulations, and more importantly in this case, issue an Insurance Backed Guarantee with every job.
What Is An Insurance Backed Guarantee (IBG)?
An Insurance Backed Guarantee (IBG) is an insurance policy that provides cover for a guarantee in the event the company that issued the guarantee ceases to trade. For jobs that Safestyle completed and registered with FENSA, their customer received an IBG with their FENSA certificate. So now Safestyle have ceased to trade, the IBG is active should there be an issue with a homeowner’s windows or doors they fitted and they need repairing.
Who Are Installsure
Installsure are an IBG provider, an insurance broker who, in this case, issued IBG policies on behalf of Safestyle.
The best thing you can say about an IBG provider is that in the nicest sense, you hope as a homeowner you never have to use one. Because if you do, it would mean there’s a problem with the windows that were installed in the first place and then the company who fitted them are no longer trading
To use a football analogy, the best refs are those who you don’t see but are there when you need them to get the big decisions right. That’s exactly the scenario the best IBG providers should find themselves in. Unseen, working behind the scenes, providing expert guidance when you need it most.
Which is the situation the team at Installsure have found themselves in recently, since Safestyle announced they had gone into administration. Installsure had been the IBG provider to Safestyle since IBGs became mandatory in June 2014, meaning nearly 10 years’ worth of Safestyle customers receiving an IBG that has now become active.
As soon as the news about Safestyle became public, Installsure placed a useful FAQs page on their website to help all homeowners who didn’t know what to do next. That has helped a huge number of customers, as have our customer service and claims teams for anyone who has emailed us or called in with questions on what to do next.
Watchdog – The One Show
In addition to the above, Installsure have been in regular contact with Watchdog, the consumer rights programme which is now part of The One Show. Following Safestyle’s collapse, it was necessary to help explain to homeowners and our potential customers what their rights were when it came to IBGs. Having the opportunity to provide clear and simple advice to millions of homeowners on what their next steps were has been invaluable to the thousands of customers who were left in limbo and Installure will continue to do so over the coming weeks and months.