Big Home. Big Budget. Owner Builder Queensland

May 29, 2017 1:18 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Owner Builder Queensland. Why Insurance Is Important

When Philippa and Phil decided to build their new beach home on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, they decided to owner build rather than engage a licenced builder. Owner builder option was last resort after talking to several builders Philippa commented ‘we are looking for a higher quality of finishes that a project builder just cannot produce and of course to we want value for money. Owner building is our best option’.

Following their first owner builder project in 2006 which converted an investment property into a B&D, Philippa was confident they knew the requirements to build their dream beach house. Queensland owner builder regulations are generally in line with owner builder VIC and owner builder NSW, but understanding state nuances, meant Philippa sought technical advice, insurance and risk management advice and regulatory assistance. ‘It’s what to know before you start that’s important, so we could ask the right questions, understand the issues and choose the right options for us’. ‘On the recommendation of our architect we found Qtrust who were marvellous’, said Philippa.


Owner builders face seven (7) key risk areas of something going wrong and thereby suffer personal and financial loss.

  1. Weather related events
  2. Design and construction events and consequences thereof
  3. People or visitors onsite and injury, disablement and death
  4. Fire, including bushfire, grass fires, fire due to subcontractors activities
  5. Civil, public property damage such as roads and street scape damage
  6. Neighbouring property damage or loss
  7. Owner builder negligence (this is the number one owner builder risk)


Owner builders should insure against the following high risk categories. Top 10 owner builder insurance events in 2015 and that may trigger personal or property loss:

  1. Burglary or forced entry
  2. Direct weather related events (storms, water, rain and wind)
  3. Third party property loss
  4. Subcontractor damages and incidents occurring on site
  5. Thief by known or invited visitors, subcontractors etc.
  6. Suppliers or delivery persons damage to road ways, kerbsides and other property
  7. Design errors
  8. Circumstantial losses
  9. Fire
  10. Owner builder negligence

This project has a construction budget of $1,850,000. Situated on a parcel of land, 1,090sqm. Beach soil conditions are sandy and soil stabilisation piling is required. Excavation is up to 3.8 meters and therefore limited shoring is required also.  In other words this project required more than just off the shelf insurance

Philippa is a career senior manager for a national services organisation and is confident that her project management and negotiation skills will greatly assist in their managing the project from their Melbourne family residence. They plan to visit the construction site at least monthly and manage daily activities via on site video cameras (average cost $49.00) and skype the onsite foreman and sub-contractors when required. Risk mitigation plan was developed and is incorporated into the overall project plan.

Qtrust owner building insurance package is designed specifically for owner builders. The package provides for construction insurance, public liability and legal liability risks. Following a consultative process with both the architect’s office and the owner builder, and in this instance Qiducia Underwriting to assist with defining the insurance specifications a comprehensive insurance and risk mitigation plan and facility was implement.

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This post was written by Technical Underwriting Centre

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