Search Legal Indemnity Products in Demand Due to COVID-19 Pandemic

16 Mar

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the delays associated with both the Land Registry and Local Authority, our Legal Indemnities team are beginning to see an increase in Search Legal Indemnity products which could be a result of the following:

  • Searches have been applied for, but the solicitors are awaiting copies
  • Searches have not been applied for, but exchange is imminent
  • Searches have been obtained, but are simply out of date

Dafydd Jonathan, Legal Indemnities Account Broker at Thomas Carroll discusses this and how Search Delay Indemnity Insurance can cover buyers and lenders and keep property transactions on track below.

The Housing Market Revival

“As the housing market continues to bounce back, as well as buyers taking advantage of the stamp duty extensions in both England and Wales, the boom is creating its own challenges that could slow down your transactions”, Dafydd says.

“Some local authorities are struggling to keep up with the volume of demand for searches right now, with some areas seeing turnaround times of 7-8 weeks. However, Search Indemnity Insurance can help keep things moving.”

“We can assist conveyancers by approaching the market and seeking the best cover available for a No Search Indemnity, Search Validation or Search Delay. Each cover is available where a property is being purchased and relates to official searches, including a Local Land Charges Search, Local Authority Search, Drainage and Water Search, Coal or Mining, Environmental or Chancel Searches.”

He adds: “Insurance can be arranged to cover you for any adverse search entries that may have arisen at that time which cause a detriment to your property value. Cover is not only available for mortgagees, however it can include cover for the owners or purchasers of a property.”

Restrictive Covenants Insurance

In addition to Search Legal Indemnity Products, there has also been a recent surge in Restrictive Covenants enquiries. Restrictive Covenants are the dark arts of the Real Estate transaction and are created for the sole purpose to preserve and protect a particular area or a plot of land.

Dafydd says: “Our team has recently witnessed a surge in these enquiries from our solicitors and this could be due to the difficulties associated with resolving these issues via legal avenues during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“Our clients are requesting cover for onerous restrictions in covenants and as you can image, this is a complex area that requires qualified knowledge and guidance. Developers may wish to build on a plot of land whereby a Restrictive Covenant prevents them from doing so. Neighbouring plots may have the benefit of the covenant, and transferring the risk to an insurer, in these cases, is a viable and cost-effective solution for any client.”

He adds: “Thomas Carroll can source individual policy wording to cover the risk of a Restrictive Covenant either on a pre or a post planning basis for any damages, demolition or alteration costs together with any loss in your property’s value. We have a legally qualified team, who are able to access major and niche insurers, for even the most difficult risks to place.”

Need Advice?

If you have any questions or would like further information, please contact Dafydd Jonathan today on 02920 853738 or at

Dafydd Jonathan

About the Author

Dafydd Jonathan graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree and Master’s in Law in 2015. Dafydd is legally qualified, having completed his Legal Practice Course (LPC) at Cardiff Law School. He is now working towards his Diploma in Insurance. Dafydd worked in high street and large law firms, mostly handling contentious litigation and insolvency before joining Thomas Carroll’s Legal Indemnities team in 2019.