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

December 20, 2017 10:16 am Published by 10 Comments

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: , , , ,

Categorised in: , , , , , , ,

This post was written by Technical Underwriting Centre

10 Comments

  • Davea says:

    We received 2 quotes for our building works, both could not explain my risks like you do here.

  • sydney renos says:

    Good evening. Thanks for this info! Love your blog!.

  • Maggiorri says:

    Insuring against claims or disputes against our assets is our primarily focus. We contacted 4 brokers, and none could explain our options insurance like your Kim. Thank you we will direct debit the premium this evening.

  • Lorna Sunrise says:

    On your loss or incident, this Policy responds by either repairing, reinstating or replacing your loss. That’s the promise to get you back on your feet fast.
    Temporary Security and Fencing – YES included
    Expediting/express delivery of replacement materials and goods. YES
    Hire equipment and loan equipment insured and covered. YES
    Your tools or equipment on site – YES included
    Claims investigation costs – YES included

  • Dean & Sue Doncaster East Vic says:

    Sub-contractor actions and worker Injury claims are specifically covered and included under your cover. These workers/contractors/subcontractors actions, injury or 3rd party property damage claims against you as the owner builder are covered. Your are safe and insured – we like you clarity on this important matter

  • TechnoBuilders says:

    We like the idea that our hire equipment is covered. Other brokers dont.

  • Horace Lacey Syd says:

    Water damage is included under your cover . other dont ???

  • Garry Summers says:

    You are the only insurance that includes claims investigation costs. Having recently experienced the need to challenge a claim we know the importance of this cover.

  • DawesXcheck says:

    Sub-contractor actions and worker Injury claims are specifically covered and included under your cover. These workers/contractors/subcontractors actions, injury or 3rd party property damage claims against us as the owner builder are covered.

  • Pauline Dr says:

    We think your policy best addresses our concerns for exceeding our budget and then forgetting to let you know. We feel safer and more secure with your product and its for this reason we choose you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *