Bland Bankart has successfully written cover for £100 million worth of commercial buildings since launching its latent damage insurance in November last year.

Philip Bland, chairman of the Leicester-based insurer, said the product has attracted interest from lenders, construction companies and owners of new properties because of its competitive pricing.

Andrew Bedford, the insurer's group sales director confirmed: "We estimate to have sold cover for £100m worth of commercial property."

Latent Gold ensures a contractor will not be held liable for any defect in a property and, on payment of an additional premium, can be extended to all professional parties involved in a development.

In an innovative distribution strategy, the insurer has made the policy available exclusively through local authority building control departments.

Now operating on a more commercial basis, building control officers can draw their clients' attention to Bland Bankart's cover, but cannot actually recommend it.

Latent Gold provides ten years of cover against structural problems due to faulty design, construction or materials. It took a year to develop and is underwritten by Allianz Cornhill.

But, because the policy insists inspections are only undertaken by council building control officers, no further independent inspections, checks of drawings and designs of the finished building are needed. This requirement, Bland Bankart claims, makes the cover more accessible.

Premiums for Latent Gold are based on the construction cost of buildings. Bland Bankart said a building costing £150,000 would attract a premium of £975 plus IPT.