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Self-Build Insurance

Self-Build Insurance

WHAT IS SELF-BUILD INSURANCE?

Building or extending a home by the ‘Direct Labour’ or the ‘Project Management’ method makes you ultimately responsible for the site. You are now the “Employer”. As a self-builder, you invest a lot of money into your build project and you need to make sure that your investment is safe from Start to Finish. Self-build insurance was developed to provide protection to individuals building their own homes using the ‘Direct Labour’ and ‘Project Management’ method.

Good Self-Build Insurance should cover you for the following:

  • Construction Works, Material, Plant, Tools, Equipment
  • Caravans, Site Huts and Contents
  • Public & Employers Liability

Cover we can typically provide include

  • New Build Projects
  • Cover for projects already started
  • Public Liability with a limit of indemnity up to €6,500,000
  • Employers Liability with a limit of indemnity of €13,000,000
  • Contract Works All Risks covers
  • Plant Cover
  • Policies up to 24 month duration
  • Short terms policies
  • Reduced cover e.g fire only, Public Liability etc

TYPES OF COVER EXPLAINED

All Risks on the home under construction
This provides property cover for the house on an all risk basis i.e. events such as fire, lightening, storm, explosion, flood, accidental damage and theft. If required indemnity letters can be provided for mortgage or financial providers under this section.
Plant, equipment & materials
This provides cover for any items you may need to hire in during the course of the self-build e.g. generators, cement mixers etc. It also provides cover for materials brought to site for use in the build. Cover is on an all risks basis as detailed above. It is important to note that Insurers will not be prepared to cover items left unsecured and a reasonable amount of security protection will be required. A basic requirement would be forcible entry/exit from a locked container or similar structure.
Employers Liability This provides cover for injury to any person who is working on the site, whether they have their own insurance or not. In legal terms, an Employee can be defined as someone ‘under your direction or control’, so this can include any person working on the project, regardless of their individual status. As mentioned above, the legal definition of an employee is not dependant on someone directly engaged on a PAYE basis. The cover provided by this section should be at a level of at least €13,000,000 per incident to cover awards for compensation as well as associated legal costs
Public Liability Public Liability is there to provide cover in the event that there is damage caused to a third party property on the site or if there is someone injured on the site. Such persons include, planning officials, delivery men, friends visiting the site, children accidentally roaming on the site and even people trespassing onto your site with unlawful intentions. Cover should be sought for at least €2,600,000 for any one accident, cover can be provided for up to €6,500,000.

Top Tips when obtaining an Insurance policy

  • Insurance cover levels vary significantly and the cheapest is not necessarily the best as it may exclude some of the most frequent incidents that occur on site. Make sure you are comparing like with like.
  • Check if a policy can be tailored to the period of time you estimate to build your home and get agreement, in advance, on the cost if you need to extend cover. Generally, policies are available for 12, 18 or 24 month periods.
  • Ask for assurances on how quickly a policy can be issued. Mortgage providers will insist on seeing a ‘Letter of Indemnity’ or ‘Notice of Interest’ from your Insurance Company to release funds for your build.
  • Insurance is never a substitute for having strict health & safety practices on site. While it will relieve the financial burden of accidents, it cannot undo the delays, stress and suffering that is caused by an accident on site.
  • Undertaking a self-build does not absolve you from your obligations under Health & Safety legislation and information can be found onwww.hsa.ie. You are as likely to receive a visit from a Health & Safety inspector as any Building Contractor. It is important to note that all scaffolding and temporary gangways have to be erected by a licensed scaffolder in strict accordance with the HSA regulations and codes of practice.
  • Regardless of the period of insurance stated on the policy, they usually contain conditions to the effect that cover will end when you reach practical completion. These are construction policies and not designed to include your domestic belongings when you occupy the house.
  • Arrange a household comprehensive policy in plenty of time before you or your personal contents are due to move in.

Call now on 01 282 9730 to speak with one of our experts or request a callback!