Recently our office received the following note from a prospective client.
Before I make a decision, I want to find out the followings.
1. As an owner builder, I don’t have full experience, to make sure everything is correct, I might forget things along the ways. Is this insurance with public liability insurance cover all these things?
2. In some occasions where more than one contractors onsite, is this cover?
3. At the end of the day, I want to get covers all things happen onsite, whether it is in our control or not. I am not onsite to make sure everything are rights. I will do my best to manage the works properly. Accident do happen in unforeseen or forgotten situation, therefore we rely on insurance to cover it.
Our response was as follows.
Thank you for your note.
Owner builder are precisely as you have noted – they are not professional builders and therefore do not necessarily possess all technical skills that a full time builders may hold.
So when you applied for your owner builder Certificate of Consent, you signed off you would abide by construction work place rules and regulations. To this end your subcontractors must be appropriately skilled and qualified for the job (eg no labours or unskilled workers), and they would hold appropriate insurance. So just like for example Metricon or Potter Davis or Simons Homes, you are reuired to ask sub-contractors for their ABN, Licence or registration and insurance.
As an owner builder you are ultimately responsible for all activity on your building site. In other words most activities will occur without your presence, but you are still the site controller. The insurance our firm offers is regarded and recognised as best owner builder insurance available because its prime purpose is to protect you as the owner and builder.
Our insurance will protect you and insure you against claims which are not necessarily of your doing or knowledge – sub-contractors actions, sub-contractor injury, supplier actions etc. What is does NOT cover is faulty workmanship for example, as this falls under a separate element of the contracts ACT, but should you suffer because of the consequences of faulty workmanship then we will insure you for your losses. This is important, unlike some foreign and unknown insurers who cover most things an owner builder is unlikely to experience.
Many insurance products for example exclude water damage, when water is the prime element in nearly 80% of all insurance claims. Also a cheap and nasty exclusion in some products is the exclusion of claim investigation costs. For example, should you request or require a detailed investigation of a claimable matter (for example water leak), these costs are at your expense and not claimable. Nasty hidden exclusions are in our view an example of not respecting or recognising an owner builder as a person, an individual.
I trust this explanation assists – I apologize for the technical elements but insurance is all about technical definitions and this is why we help our clients with the right insurance, and not just any old insurance that may fail to respond to actual owner builder situations.
(Brand and trade names mentioned in this post are owned by their respective owners, and used for example only).Tags: owner builder insurance whats covered, subcontractors cover, whats no covered, whats not covered, workers compensation
Categorised in: ACT Owner Building, Granny Flat. Garage. Shed., NSW Owner Building, Owner Builder Insurance Cover, Queensland Owner Building, SA Owner Building, Tasmania Owner Building, Victorian Owner Building
This post was written by Technical Underwriting Centre