Workers compensation is unclaimable insurance for owner builders. Why do so many non-insurance professionals recommended it? Workers compensation sole purpose and benefit is to provide employees personal injury insurance cover when attending their place of employment or traveling to their place of employment. It does not provide any insurance cover to an employer. At the core, an owner builder is very, very unlikely to act as an employer and secondly is classified as an individual; building, constructing or renovating for their own use and benefit, and not for commercial gain. Subsequently not a company or commercial enterprise.
Recent public investigations regarding several big Australian financial services firms selling techniques and sales behaviour, highlighted long standing industry practices where upselling insurance products at every opportunity, is standard practice. These sales practices are based on old world, amateurish techniques to convey fear and uncertainty in the first instance, and then offer a potential buyer product(s) that in unlikely to deliver any quantifiable protection or tangible benefit.
Point of reference: Sole Traders are the most basic business structure and subsequently as businesses ‘by legal definition‘ remain responsible for all aspects of their business including insurances.They are not employees of an owner builder by definition, they are an independent contractor. When exaggerated claims such as Sole Traders are ‘different‘ and require owner builders to procure Worker Compensation, such comments are falsifiable arguments. Sole Traders are not employees. Nonetheless, good quality owner builder insurances will respond and protect against Sole Traders claims for injury. (Qtrust insurance policy is clear in this regard, and protects owner builders).
Owner builders face specific risks to their financial security and family stability when professional ‘ambulance chasers’ look to push or direct blame, or injury responsibility to unware or inexperienced owner builders. By any stretch of imagination or mind bending fantasy, workers compensation insurance won’t save an owner builder from potential legal proceedings or statutory responsibilities, when an onsite injury occurs. So what will?
In short, a comprehensive owner builder construction insurance which integrates legal and public liability is the optimum protection along with a stringent sub-contractor prerequisite assessments. The key differentiator of comprehensive insurance is defined principally by the quality, reputation and independent audit reviews of the actual insurer or underwriter making promises. Often a quick guide to these standards can be found in how they present or explain their cover, their exclusions or claims ratings. In our firm, we are quiet particular that our products are underwritten by Australian headquartered insurers, and that one insurer covers the entire risk, in other words remove any ambiguity of who precisely is underwriting and guarantying cover, and claims ratings history.
First class insurance cover is clear, concise and particular when it comes to onsite injury claims pertaining to contractors, sub-contractors or Sole Traders. Policy Wordings or Product Disclosure Statement should identify the risk and outline how it will be covered, always placing an owner builder at the forefront.
Personal circumstances plays a critically important role when discussing insurances and personal financial advice. Not all so-called advice is proper advice, too often it can be sales talk wrapped into cute sales phrases. When facts are real facts, and advice is just that, professional advice, best to seek out industry best, accredited and solid track record firms. Our firm’s reputation and success is built on these core tenants.
Categorised in: Owner Builder Insurance Cover
This post was written by Technical Underwriting Centre