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A guide to insurance, construction, and protecting your home

Before you sign on the dotted line, make sure your contractor and your project have the right insurance in place.

4 min read

After planning and building regulations, we can understand why a lot of homeowners feel overwhelmed with the admin. Perhaps not too enthused when it comes to reviewing their contract with potential builders.

However, the construction phase is where the majority of a budget will be spent and risk should be managed as proactively as possible.

One area that all homeowners should pay careful attention to is their insurance. Whether this is the insurance your contractor should be covered by or the insurance you should be taking out yourself - nothing is more important for the safety of your project.

To make sure you’re fully covered, here’s our guide to everything insurance…

Public liability insurance

This insurance is used if your contractors work near other people and their property - which covers pretty much all construction projects.

It offers legal protection in the event a third party (a non-employee) is injured, or if someone’s property is damaged. Your contractor should renew this insurance every 12 months, so make sure it’s up to date when looking through your contract.

Resi asks contractors to provide this as part of joining the platform. However, we're not liable for these details so always be sure to ask for them and see an in-date copy prior to works starting.

Employer liability insurance

By law, contractors must be covered by employer liability insurance, which is there in the event an employee faces injury or illness.

All contractors should be covered by this. Also, if you’re building your own house, it’s important that you look at taking this out yourself. That’s because in the event a volunteer or sub-contractor becomes injured on-site, you could technically be viewed as their employer and face a lawsuit claim.

Similarly, Resi asks contractors to provide this as part of joining the platform. However, we are unable to share these details so always ensure to ask for them and see an in date copy prior to works starting.

Home renovation insurance

Did you know, during construction, your home is unlikely to be covered by your regular home insurance?

To make sure your home is safe, it’s worthwhile shopping around for home renovation insurance. Many companies cover this, so taking it out can be as simple as just alerting your current provider of your project for them to provide a quote.

Life insurance

Okay, this is a little morbid but definitely worth considering.

If you’re taking out finance on your project, you’ll also want to either update your life insurance plan or take one out. Paying off home improvement loans can take years and you don’t want your surviving family facing the debt alone, should the worst happen.

Product liability insurance

This covers your contractor in the event of injury or property damage resulting from materials/products they have supplied, manufactured or even imported.

Again, this is something you should check for in the contract during the tendering stage.

Contractors all risk insurance

If a contractor causes damage to a part of your property they were hired to work on, standard public liability insurance may not provide full coverage. If you want to have maximum protection for your home, insist on your builder being covered by a contractors all risk policy, this would cover all the costs when repairing the damage.

Home insurance guarantee and deposit protection

A contractor can take out a specific insurance cover for your project that protects your deposit should they cease trading and provide further cover towards the works that are carried out.

Any contractor can take out this cover for your project if you ask prior to agreeing on the tender and contract. It should also be noted that while Resi will only introduce clients to vetted contractors, the relationship with the contractor from then on is the client's choice and responsibility and Resi does not accept any liability for the quality or the timely progress of the contractor's work, not for any consequences arising directly or indirectly from the contractor's actions or omissions.

Professional indemnity insurance

Professional Indemnity insurance protects against claims for loss or damages arising from professional negligence or negligent advice.

Not essential but worth inquiring about, especially if your contractor is making alterations to the design of your project. It also helps uphold a level of professionalism, in more than just the labour side of your project.

Structural warranty

Very few homeowners know about this warranty and fewer still take it out, but it’s a great way to protect your investment!

This warranty will provide you with 10 years of insurance from ‘latent defects’ to the structure of the building. This means, should something have gone wrong during construction that isn’t spotted right away, your investment is safe from costly repairs.

This warranty can be bought by your contractor or taken out by yourself.

Want help with your project? Whether you’re just starting out or gearing up for construction, Resi can point you in the direction of who to ask for your insurance questions and we are always on hand to offer free advice. Book a consultation with our team now.

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