The exact extent of your cover will depend on what your needs are, as well as the terms of the policy you take out.
Before you choose your policy there are a few things you’ll need to know, including how to work out the start and end dates of your policy, who’s covered under your policy and how to make a claim.
When Should I Start the Cover?
As an owner builder, you should always take out your insurance before any construction work commences. In most circumstances, setting the start date for your policy a little earlier won’t affect your premium, as owner builder insurance premiums are usually calculated on the project value, rather than the length of time. This means that regardless of whether it takes you six, nine or twelve months to build, your premium will remain the same.
What Happens if I Need More Time?
Your policy will be project specific and non-renewable, therefore cover will terminate at the end of the insurance period stated in your policy’s schedule or at the time of practical completion; whichever occurs first. That said, if you require more time to finish your project’s construction, an extension of your insurance period can be considered, upon request, based on the details of the current construction work and any loss history.
When Will My Policy Finish?
Your insurance period will end when one of the following points are reached:
- The time of practical completion
- The date those completed portions of the construction works are taken over, occupied or put into use
- When an occupancy permit or final inspection is issued
- The date specified in the schedule
Please note: Practical completion is when the construction works are complete, except for minor omissions and defects that don’t prevent the completed works from being able to meet their intended purpose.
What Happens If I Run Out of Money and Construction Stops for a While?
If you stop construction for more than 30 consecutive days, your policy will not cover any claims. Your cover will also lapse immediately after abandonment. If you need to stop your project’s construction for any reason, you will need to notify us at once.
Are Sub-Contractors Covered Under My Owner Builder Construction Policy?
Unfortunately, sub-contractors won’t be named as an insured in your insurance schedule. However, most owner builder insurance policies will indemnify you for:
- Claim costs in defence of any claim where you, as the owner builder, are joined to any action; and
- Any legal liability for personal injury or property damage for which you are vicariously liable for the negligence of a sub-contractor in the performance of the construction work
What Information Do I Have to Supply If I Want to Make a Claim?
When making a claim, you will need to:
- Generate an estimate of any losses or damage
- A copy of the police report or the log number of the call to the police if the claim is a result of malicious damage, theft or burglary, along with a list of any stolen, damaged or lost items
You will also need to provide proof of ownership, loss or damage, and the value of the items you are claiming for by presenting the following documents:
- Sales receipts/accounts showing the date of purchase, purchase price and the description of the purchased items
- Bank statements or credit card statements showing the purchase transaction details
- Photos clearly showing the items
- Builders, electricians or other relevant tradesman’s reports detailing the loss or damage
Is my existing home & contents covered during renovation / extension?
If you are performing a major renovation or extension, generally your household insurance policy will not cover your existing house structure whilst you are undertaking the renovation or extension. As a result, we always suggest that you contact your household insurance provider before you commence your renovation or extension to check if your existing house structure would remain covered. If your household insurance provider doesn’t agree then we can arrange cover as part of your owner builder insurance policy. Please note that this cover is not automatic as it is an optional cover extension.
Would I be covered for Personal Injury if I get injured?
No you are not covered for personal injury under owner builder construction and liability policy. If this cover is required then separate personal accident insurance will need to be arranged.
Would my family members be covered for Personal Injury if they get injured? No they are not covered for personal injury under owner builder construction and liability policy. Again, if this cover is required then separate personal/group accident insurance will need to be arranged.
Would any voluntary Workers be covered for Personal Injury if they get injured?
No they are not covered under owner builder construction and liability policy.