Owner builders are particularly vulnerable when it comes to third party injury or damage because of one (only ‘one’) overarching characteristic; owner builders hold property in their personal name(s). Public liability insurance is to firstly protect an owner builder against legal costs of responding to, or legally defending a claim of negligence, injury or property damage to other parties. The overwhelming risk where property ownership is so clear-cut, is it draws the ‘big end of town’ such as lawyers acting for medical and health insurers, compensation boards, and even other insurance companies to chase recovery of costs or compensation from ‘asset rich’ owner builders.
By way of completing this important argument, without any exceptions, everybody working or participating in the construction or renovations and working on an owner builder project ‘hides’ behind a company structure; whether sub-contractors, sole traders, employees, delivery personnel or supplies, certifiers and inspectors. This leaves a property owner, an owner builder fully exposed.
Residential construction sites are dangerous work places and with comings and goings of trades and sub-contractors, suppliers and other construction services personnel, 3rd party liability insurance is a must.
Standard residential construction public liability value is $5million. There may be a special requirements to increase limit of liability to $10million or $20million, and these special considerations are pre-conditional to a building permit or DA being released. An increase to insurance cover is set by certifiers or local government pertaining to environmental protection requirements, or heritage considerations or civil infrastructure risks.
A general, and forms part of industry convention, licence or registered builders carry $10million public liability, because firstly they are incorporated, and often embrace employees such as partners and spouses and apprentices. Secondly, over a 12 month period of insurance they may undertake several projects, many running simultaneously, increasing their exposure, thus $10million limits is preferred. $20 million Public Liability applies when public or government assets are at risk, or union work-site perquisite.
Amateur and inept brokers may still embrace a general concept of higher the insurance value, the higher the premium, and greater their personal commission. Then there are those uneducated spruikers who argue ‘it costs no more to have a higher value’, but in reality insurance companies make money, so someone is paying, and this means either reduce the benefits of the policy or reduce the sales commissions. Given, sales commissions are ‘never’ reduced as evident by the current (2018) Banking and Insurance Royal Commission!
Qtrust is all owner builder and all advice driven insurance. Therefore, owner builders will be satisfied that public liability cover is all about protecting their family assets and home.
Key attributes of the best-selling owner building public liability is as follows:
1. Sub-contractor actions. Sub-contractor injury. Worker to worker injury cover
2. Neighbouring property, council property damage. Damage to gutters, roadways and other public assets
3. Claims assessment and investigation costs cover
4. Legal costs and taxes, when part of the claim are included in this cover
5. After-loss care provisions
5. Care, custody and control of construction infrastructure
Categorised in: ACT Owner Building, Commercial Property Insurance, Contents Insurance, Granny Flat. Garage. Shed., Landlord Insurance, NSW Owner Building, Owner Builder Insurance Cover, Owner Builder Tools, Queensland Owner Building, SA Owner Building, Tasmania Owner Building, Victorian Owner Building, Voluntary Workers. Personal & Accident Insurance
This post was written by Technical Underwriting Centre