29 Jan 2016

Do I need self-build insurance?

Following recent floods that caused damage to many UK properties, Andrew Reardon, Senior Selfbuild Account Handler at self-build insurance policy expert ProAktive Selfbuild, stresses the importance of protecting your self-build site and structure.

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The risks a property can face differ depending on where it is built. An inner city property is more susceptible to theft and malicious damage. While a more rural property can suffer from weather related claims such as storm.

With the unpredictable nature of British weather you never know what you might face therefore it’s vital to protect your dream home right from the very start of your build.

Once you exchange on your plot of land or property you are responsible for the insurance on it, in the trade known as self-build insurance. Initially with the plot of land there is only a small chance of a claim occurring. However should an accident occur onsite for which you are held responsible (this includes trespassers) the claims can run into a great deal of money which can delay your build or make it financially impossible to complete it.

If your building project is a renovation or extension there are additional initial risks. Unoccupied properties do attract unwanted attention and are often stripped of anything of value such as copper piping and lead. It’s therefore important to note that normal home insurance or an unoccupied buildings policy is not appropriate. These types of policies will have an exclusion clause for a property undergoing structural work or large scale renovation. A property left unoccupied for more than 60 days will either have no cover at all or restricted to fire only, therefore if a claim occurs it is unlikely to be covered. Unoccupied properties are also prone to malicious damage and in the cold weather may lead to water claims caused by frozen pipes which can go undetected for days.

Once your contractor is in place and works start onsite they will probably provide some cover. As a minimum they should have liability cover however there are some grey areas with that. It may be the case that when they leave site the insurance goes with them, so when the property is at its most vulnerable at night and over the weekend no cover would be in place. It may also be the case that they carry insurance for your materials once they arrive onsite depending on the type of insurance they have however, if you are sourcing and buying some of the materials yourself your contractor cannot cover these and you will need to insure them yourself.

ProAktive provides comprehensive self-build insurance for new builds, extensions and renovation/conversion work.

Further information....

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