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Home | Insurances + Protection | Owner Builders | Construction & Public Liability Insurance

Construction & Public Liability Insurance

Owner Builder Construction & Public Liability Insurance is vital to protect you and your property during the construction phase from damage or loss caused by theft, burglary, malicious damage, weather related perils, fire, workmanship issues and more. Most importantly this insurance protects the owner builder for their legal liability relating to a claim for injury or damage to a third party or property. These policies also protect the owner builder against actions or damage caused by your subcontractors.

With this insurance, you have peace of mind knowing that this insurance policy also covers the progressive value of building works as they are completed.

Existing property cover. Did you know that most home and contents insurance policies become invalid if building works commence. However, if you are intending to be an owner builder carrying out a major renovation, or constructing a home extension, swimming pool or garage, one of the underwriter insurers we use, can offer insurance cover as an option for the replacement value of your existing structure, and for contents up to $50,000.

It is not always easy to owner build within 12 months, time frames are often difficult to meet. Allow us to assist you with a product that offers flexibility with the ability to apply for an additional six months, and if a further six months are required, that period can be also applied for subject to the underwriter's approval.

It is preferable and cheaper to organise this insurance before construction commences. For straight forward projects, we can usually provide and issue insurance cover within 1 business day, subject to receiving payment of the premium. We usually can issue this insurance when construction work has commenced, but the premium will be higher.

Remember, Owner Builder Construction and Public Liability Insurance is subject to under insurance clauses which could affect claims settlement. Always insure for full value of materials and labour or else you may be left out of pocket in the event of a claim.

Do I need this insurance ?
If you have obtained finance for your project, lending institutions, will generally require that you take out all risks Construction and Public Liability Insurance, prior to releasing funds. Most local councils also stipulate that Owner Builder Construction & Public Liability Insurance is required to be implemented by the owner as a condition of their approval. At the end of the day you are protecting your investment in the work and materials that have been used, and are also providing protection against claims from third parties.

As an owner builder, if you plan on doing the work yourself and/or have family or friends assist you, consider 'Personal Accident and Volunteer Workers Insurance'. This insurance can provide protection if due to injury, you or your volunteer workers be unable to attend their regular employment. Benefits payable are for a fixed amount of cover. Cover extends to yourself, your spouse and other family/friends up to a total of 10 volunteers on site.


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What the Policy covers?

Construction Insurance
Construction insurance covers owner builder’s throughout the building and construction stages of their project. It covers owner builders against malicious damage, vandalism, theft, fire damage, storm, wind and water damage. The policy we endorse also provides cover for demolition costs and professional fees in the event of a major claim (for up to 10% of the insured construction value) at NO additional premium cost.

Public Liability Insurance
This part of the Insurance policy covers owner builders against the unfortunate, but possible event of third party personal injury and property damage which may occur. It is still an essential part of the owner builders insurance regime, even though a home owner may have household insurance on the house being renovated. Many usual home insurance policies, which may otherwise cover occupiers liabilities for such occurrences, may not do so when renovations and building works are taking place. During renovations and building works, the property inherently becomes open to hazards which are not usually there through normal occupation of a property and therefore may go beyond the coverage of the regular policies.

This is something very important to keep in mind especially if Owner Builder Construction & Public Liability Insurance is not a compulsory condition of the Building or Construction Approval. You have to ask yourself, would you carry the risk of not having protection and peace of mind ? You should always remember that through no fault of your own, your building project can be exposed to fire theft, vandalism, weather, or anyone of a number of other kinds of losses, at any time, especially if the site is vacant at night.

Things to consider when choosing the right Insurance

Some important insurance policies to look for when obtaining cover:

  1. Does the Public Liability policy provide a minimum $5,000,000 coverage?
  2. Is the insured value the actual replacement value of the project? (always seek professional advice on replacement values).
  3. In the event of a major claim, does the policy automatically cover demolition costs and professional fees associated with rebuilding the property, or does this cost extra?
  4. What is the policy period and can it be extended if your building project takes longer than expected?
  5. Does the policy cover existing structures on the property? (i.e. existing house where extension and renovation proposed). Note you should advise your existing house and contents insurer prior to commencement of your intention to undertake construction works.
  6. If the works have commenced, is it possible to obtain insurance cover?

(Please note that although our insurer will cover a commenced project, higher premiums do apply).

All insurance policies are NOT the same, and there is no point in investing in a thrifty insurance policy if it doesn't fully protect you in the event of a substantial loss, and after all, isn’t this the primary reason for having a policy in the first place! A substantial financial loss on uninsured building works or liability would cause financial ruin to practically any owner builder, so don’t gamble your financial livelihood on “thrifty policies”, which may have an attractive entry premium, but not the kind of cover you need to protect you.

Our endorsed insurers Owner Builder Construction & Public Liability Insurance generally provides you with 12 months cover.

Should your project take more than 12 months to complete, you do have an option of extending your cover for another 6 month period, followed by a subsequent extension of 6 months after that should you need it.

If you have obtained finance for your project, practically all lending institutions, will generally require that you take out all risks Construction and Public Liability Insurance, prior to releasing funds.

Make sure you don’t risk your financial livelihood. Let us assist you to make sure your building project, is fully covered.

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