So you’ve got your owner builders licence, your tools, materials and building plans… You’re ready to start building, right?
No, not quite, you’ve forgotten one very important component…Owner Builder Insurance!
Here we explain everything you need to know to be properly covered as an owner builder.
What is Owner Builder Insurance?
Regardless of whether you’re doing the work yourself or plan to hire contractors, you should be seriously considering owner builder insurance.
For any substantial build, renovation or home project that you'll be overseeing as a homeowner, you should take out a collection of different insurances that is Owner Builder Insurance.
Some of the insurances you may need include:
- Builders Contract Works Insurance – this will cover any loss or damage to your building during the construction process.
- Public Liability Insurance – cover any damage to property or injury to a person as a result of your renovation/build.
Why Do You Need Owner Builders Insurance?
Even if you’re planning to contract tradies to do most of the work on your project, as an owner builder you’ll need to insure the overall project and anyone coming onto the site. The consequences of not doing this can be financial ruin.
As each tradesperson will have their own insurance cover, many people wrongly believe that if they use tradespeople, they don’t need any other insurance as an owner builder… But Tradies Insurance only covers the individual tradesperson while they are onsite and only for their work. This means that the overall project is never totally covered for loss or damage…
That’s why Owner Builder Insurance is crucial.
Important Considerations About Owner Builder Insurance?
- Get insured before building commences. It’s very important that your insurance is in place before you start the build. Once the build has begun, it is difficult to get insurance cover. This can cause difficulties if you are looking to borrow money for the renovation or build; generally finance companies won’t loan money if you don’t have Owner Builder Insurance.
- Get insured for the time you are building. It is best to make the policy run initially for as long as you think it will take to complete your build. Some insurers are reluctant to extend the policy if the cover is required for a greater time than originally applied for. So be as realistic as you can when estimating the build time and insure for a little longer, because it’s rare to hear of building projects that run on time.
- Cover is only for building, not occupying. Once you occupy the dwelling (even if it is not completed) Contract Works Insurance and the Public Liability associated with the policy will not cover you, and you will need to arrange Home Insurance to insure your home. Don’t assume your Owner Builder Insurance will cover you until the expiry date.
- Calculating the sum insured. This is a difficult question that is often asked by Owner Builders, as the value of construction changes over time. Our advice is to have the sum insured represent the replacement value of the finished home and the sum insured should reflect what it would cost a builder to rebuild and/or rectify the damage.
How to Ensure You Have the Right Owner Builder Insurance?
There’s a lot to think about, and you want to make sure you get properly covered… Talking to someone who knows the ins and outs of Owner Builder Insurance takes the worry out of it.
Talk to one of the owner builders insurance experts at Regional Insurance Brokers to find out exactly what policies you should consider and what it will cost.