As a key component of Italy’s COVID-19 recovery plan, the government launched the “Superbonus 110%”: a very appealing tax credit for those who will carry out requalification of real estate properties.

The economic convenience is clear: “110%” means that every 100,00 € spent on renovation work, 110,00 € is gained as a fiscal credit. This provision will incentive the transfer of the credit to banks and financial institutions, against a cash payment (usually in the region of 102,00-105,00 € every 110,00 € of credit), making the operation zero cost for the private citizen.

The requalification works must guarantee an increase in energy efficiency and/or structural seismic improvements of properties located in Italy.

An opportunity not to be missed, especially in Italy where 55% of buildings were built more than 45 years ago, while less than 2% were built in the last 10 years.

The Technical Professional involved

The Superbonus is tempting, but not easy to obtain.

The procedure is complex, not always straightforward for the interested party, while the very first step to access to the Superbonus is to meet all the technical requirements set by the law.

The assistance of trusted professionals such as engineers, architects and surveyors becomes crucial.

Focusing on energy efficiency works, the rules are very strict: besides the usual accuracy of the projects and supervision of building works, the interventions must ensure the improvement of at least two energy classes of the building or the achievement of the highest possible energy class.

Such achievement must be assessed by a qualified professional who will issue an energy performance certificate (so called ‘APE’) before and after completion of the works, in the form of a sworn statement.

And a sworn statement will also be issued by a “Qualified Technician” to certify that the works performed meet the technical requirements set by the Superbonus regulations and that the costs incurred are congruous.

All the statements by the professionals involved, both regarding the work performed and their costs and regarding the energy performance of the property, should be made according to the format provided by the law and are an essential pre-requisite to access the Tax credit.

Any failure in complying with the regulations could result in criminal and civil sanctions, as well as in the loss of the Tax credit for the client.

Compulsory Insurance for Technical Professionals

In light of the considerable responsibilities entrusted to the professionals involved in the Superbonus works, it is now compulsory for them to carry a specific insurance, whose basic features are established by the law:

  • It should be entered into with an EU insurance company;
  • it should provide a limit of indemnity “adequate” to the value of the Superbonus works, with a minimum of € 500.000,00.

Evidence of the contract should be attached to each statement issued.

Insurance companies are responding to this need by means of an addendum to the ordinary professional liability coverage, possibly issuing an appendix for each sworn statement, thus increasing the limit of indemnity ensuring its adequateness; or offering a stand-alone policy to cover the risks arising from professional activity performed in connection with the Superbonus only.

It is too early to say, but the second option might lead to issues regarding the triggering of the ordinary professional liability coverage, especially if the policies should be written by different insurers. Any potential claim must therefore be handled bearing in mind the different scopes of coverage offered by the policies, with a view to solve any possible overlap.

Anyhow, considering the expected increase in requalification works due to the Superbonus, the workflow of the technical professionals will also increase and we will shortly discover the impact of this brand new legislation on the insurance market.

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