As an owner builder, I don’t have full experience, make sure everything is correct!

September 20, 2017 10:16 am Published by 2 Comments

We recently received the following 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, make sure everything are correct, might forget things along the ways. Is this insurance with public and 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 is 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 the technical skill as full time builders.

So when you applied for your owner builder Certificate of Consent, you signed off that 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 that they would be appropriately insurance. So just like Metricon or Potter Davis or Simons Homes, you need to ask sub-contractors for the ABN, Licence or registration and insurance.

As an owner builder you are ultimately responsible for all activity on your site – ‘with or without your knowledge or involvement’ – and this is why our insurances are regarded and recognised as best in owner builder class.

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.

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 we use them for example only).

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This post was written by Technical Underwriting Centre

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