Insurance - What you need to know . . .|
The Insurance section deals with Building Insurance, Home Insurance and Health & Safety issues. Guidelines are given on what building insurances you will require, how much they will cost and how to arrange cover.
We also give advice on protecting your asset with Home and Contents insurance. This applies to new builds and in situations where you have increased the value of your home. If carrying out work, make Health and Safety a priority. We list some ways of ensuring site safety.
Building sites can be dangerous places and as the owner of such a site, you will need to take precautions against liability claims resulting from accidents and injuries that could occur on your site.
In addition, you'll want to protect your in progress development from natural calamity or theft; also, particularly if youre storing things on site, you’ll want protection against possible theft of equipment and materials.
Many mortgage lenders expect to see site insurance on a site or property they are lending against, and while legally it is not essential, it is strongly recommended.
Site insurance is of fundamental importance when investing your money into property especially as the sums are almost always five or six figures.
Whether your project is a conversion, renovation, extension or a new build, you will invariably need comprehensive protection for both the building and the rest of the site.
You must protect the existing structure (if there is one) as well as all the new work against such losses as fire, theft, flood, storm damage, vandalism and accidental damage. Don't just rely on your standard building insurance to cover the cost of any loss as, more often than not, they will not pay out on a loss involving a property under development.
Better to be safe....It goes without saying that the majority of builds go from start to finish without the need to make any claim but, should the worst happen, you can have complete peace of mind that site insurance will reduce your level of liability to an absolute minimum.
Self Build Insurance is the name given to the range of insurance products available for a self build project. Levels of insurance can vary with each provider so it pays to shop around. Listed below are the components that are part of self build insurance.
This is sometimes called Contract Works Insurance
, and protects against the more common type of losses - theft, vandalism, structural damage, fire, flood, storm damage, damage by delivery vehicles, etc.
All Risk insures the new building is protected at every stage, and materials are covered as soon as ownership of them passes to the self-builder, whether on or off the site. The minimum insurance required is for fire.
When fixtures and fittings arrive on site, it may not be possible to fit them straightaway.
Likewise, it is unreasonable to have tools taken from the site after each work day. This insurance will protect them from damage or theft.
This type of insurance is subject to a number of requirements. For example, you will be expected to have the site secured properly.
This is a legal requirement if you are employing anyone. It is important to understand what is meant by employment, as most self-builders use sub contractors and do not employ anyone in the general sense of the word.
However, as far as an accident to someone who is working for you is concerned, you certainly owe him a 'duty of care' to ensure he does not get injured on your site, and if a sub contractor is injured on your site, his solicitor will establish that he has 'deemed contract of employment'.
The cover provided by this section should be at a level of at least €13m per incident to cover awards for compensation as well as associated legal costs.
This covers legal liability for claims made by any other person or body in respect of death, injury or loss arising from your building operations.
Such persons could include delivery men, planning officials, friends and even those who are trespassing on your site with unlawful intentions.
Claims under this section of the policy are unusual, but when they do arise the sums involved are usually very large. Cover should be sought for at least €2.6m any one accident.
There are other special insurance requirements. Among these are legal contingency insurance to cover you against the legal costs involved in dealing with claims arising from lost land titles, old covenants or ransom strips, and also vacant building insurance if, for some reason, a building is completed and cannot be occupied.
You should take out a policy once you purchase your site as the Public Liability liability insurance will cover you against any trespassers.
If you haven’t arranged your insurance before work commences, many providers will not insure you.
Policy terms of 12, 18 or 24 months are usually offered by most providers. However, you can have it tailored so that the cover tends to run out upon completion of the project, although some lenders do extend the insurance to full building and contents cover for a few months if the project finishes early. If project is to last longer than expected, you will have to extend the policy.
Policies range from €1000 to over €3000. This is dependent on size of build and insurance package. Insurance quotes are also based on how much it will cost to rebuild
your home if damaged so when calculating, the amount of cover based on the cost of rebuilding your home.
The provides an annual guide to rebuilding costs. Rebuilding costs are an estimate of the minimum it would cost to remove debris from a damaged property and then rebuild the structure of your home. Contents and other aspects of your property are not included. Many make the mistake that the market value of their house is the value for which the property should be insured. It is not, as the market value of a property has little or no relationship to the cost of rebuilding your home.
Individual insurers offer different amounts of cover which are too in-depth to go into here. Contact a for more details.
If you are acting as “Employer”, make sure your insurance policy covers the following:
- Existing structure (if applicable)
- Structural cover (fire, building damage, etc.)
- Building Work, temporary works and materials
- Your own or hired plant, tools and equipment
- Employee’s tools and personal effects
- Employer’s and public liability
- Legal Expenses
- Personal accidents
- Residential caravan, site huts and contents
If you are employing a main contractor to run the site for you, make sure he has Public Liability, Employer's Insurance and a Contractors All Risks (CAR) Policy
This will provide him with comprehensive protection against loss or damage to contract works and associated construction plant, equipment and temporary buildings. Even if he has, it is still worth ensuring that your own insurance is in place.
Make sure the policy covers the full time frame of your build.
Main and Sub-Contractors’ Insurance:
Make sure you obtain written confirmation of the following from the contractors you employ:
- Policy number or numbers
- Renewal date
- Limits of Indemnity
- Details of any exclusions on the policy which relates to your property
- Ensure that the policy protects all contractors or workmen on your site