Owner Builder Construction and Public Liability Insurance


BuildSafe offer a tailored domestic Construction and Public liability policy. The policy is designed for the owner builder, and unlike some standard policies, contains additional benefits.

Owner Builders are engaged in probably the most important project of their lives. After all it’s their money, their home and more importantly their family. Why would any Owner Builder take a risk when an unforeseen incident or event can disrupt so much?

Owner Builder Construction insurance is not all the same, simply because the risks are uniquely Owner Builder.

BuildSafe Consultants will clarify the Insurance Policy wordings in plain English, with no confusing builder or insurance terms. We will explain what is important especially to Owner Builders and also what you should consider. We know the detail so ask us.

Owner Builder Construction Insurance – key benefits
All types of constructions Kit Homes Straw bale and Mud Brick Homes, New Homes, Builder to Lockup, Light Commercial Works. Renovations and Extensions even those ‘hard to place risks’. Your protection in a snapshot Low excess levels Competitive premiums Professional claims management Need more assistance? Speak to us.

What does the Construction Insurance cover?
Construction insurance protects the owner builder during the building process, including malicious damage/vandalism, theft, fire damage, storm, wind and water damage. The Buildsafe policy 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, which ensures that you will not be left out of pocket if a major claim occurs.

What does the Public Liability Insurance cover?
Public Liability Insurance protects owner builders against third party personal injury and property damage, that occurs during the period of policy.

Is Construction and Public Liability Insurance compulsory?
As a general rule, this insurance is not compulsory but you carry the risk. Through no fault of your own, your building project can be exposed to fire theft, vandalism or weather. Unlike car insurance, your potential loss is much, much greater. If finance is being obtained from a lending institution, generally they will require evidence of a Construction and Public Liability policy prior to releasing funds.

When considering or comparing policies, is price the main issue?
Buying Construction and Public Liability insurance is no different to shopping for a new car. A Hyundai Excel doesn’t have the same features and benefits of Holden Calais and therefore there is a substantial price difference. Price is important, but not all insurance policies are the same. There is no point in investing in a cheap insurance policy if it doesn’t fully protect you in the event of a substantial claimable occurrence… which is 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 most owner builders.

I am using a builder to lockup stage – do I need Insurance?
Yes, while the builder should have Construction and public liability insurance in place, there will be no insurance once the project is at lock up.
Note well: it is very difficult for you as an Owner builder to find an insurer to supply you insurance at lock up the smartest thing to do is take out the insurance at commencement, even though you are doubling up, it will be a lot, cheaper to do it this way than try to obtain the insurance at lock up.

Contents cover is available in conjunction with your construction & public liability policy,which covers your renovation/extension & existing home.

I am halfway through my home – do I need Insurance?
Yes, it is available, generally but it will cost more! DO NOT start your project before you have the insurance in place, if you want to save money.

I am building a Kit Home – can I get Insurance?
Yes, some insurers require that there are at least 3 drops (of building materials). There is a history of the truck dropping off the house at the site and next day the whole house is gone!

What about extensions and renovations on my home, which is already covered by Home and Contents Insurance?

It is vital that you check the specific policy wording of your Home and Contents Policy, as most insurers suspend the home insurance and public liability cover for renovation and extension work over a certain value or complexity. This could affect the cover to the existing house for loss or damage as direct result of the renovations or extensions. Public liability cover could also be affected. If you are renovating or extending you should check your current policy wording carefully. Contents cover now available. When renovating your home the greatest risk is from storm, wind and water damage. These are the most common insurance claims.

How do I know I have enough insurance?

This is known as the under-insuring trap. Do not try to save money by insuring your works for less than the actual replacement cost of a licensed builder carrying out the work. In the event of an indefinable event under the policy, (an event that is insured), and it is found that the sums insured are less than 90 percent of the amount required to be insured, the amount recoverable by you under this policy will be reduced by such proportions as the sums insured bear to 90 percent of the amount required to be insured.

What else to watch for?

  • Most policies on the market are builder policies, and the insurer does not want to make the owner builder specific because of the cost. Therefore they include such things as blasting or explosives, maintenance, underground works etc… which you are being charged for.
  • Will you be storing appliances, tiles etc off site, make sure the policy covers – principal (you) supplied materials
  • Are subbies covered? Most policies do NOT cover subcontractors that you employ on site, that is it VITAL that you check their Public Liability insurance policy to make sure it is current, preferably keep a copy, to help you.

Usually it is a condition of the insurance that all sub-contractors must:
i. Have a minimum of $5,000,000 public and products liability insurance and relevant employers liability insurance

ii. Conduct a thorough safety inspection of the Construction Site prior to beginning any work or delegating any work

iii. Be required to comply with all relevant safety requirements applicable to the work they will be conducting on the Construction Site; and

iv. Be accredited or licensed where applicable for the work they or persons under their instruction and/or employment are performing.

v. Be accredited or licensed where applicable for the work they or persons under their instruction and/or employment are performing.

A major building project can be stressful; unexpected events such as a flood, fire or theft of materials could seriously impact on both the timescale for the build and costs and could have a disastrous effect on your ability to finish your new home.

With a major project, it is essential that your investment in both time and money is protected against any major problems. It is therefore essential that you have adequate construction and public liability insurance cover in place and indeed, if you are borrowing to finance your project, you will be required as a condition of your mortgage to have the cover in place.

BuildSafe offer a unique owner builder policy designed for you the owner builder, it includes additional benefits that are specific for the owner builder – so before making any decision you need to talk with our consultants to ensure you have the best policy at the right price.

Be Sure Be Safe Build Sure BuildSafe
Enquiry Form >>> 1300 763 016 for more information

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Dear Michelle,
I would again like to thank you for your the efficient and friendly manner which you showed us throughout this process. It has been a pleasure dealing with
you and your firm and we will surely recommend your services to family and friends. Much appreciated.