Relying on home insurance or your builder’s public liability policy when carrying out an extension is most definitely NOT a good idea.
The very nature of an extension project involves your home so most people assume that their home insurance and the builder's public liability cover is sufficient – which simply is not the case.
Get the Right Cover In Place
Extension insurance will adequately cover the home and all the new works, materials, plant equipment as well as your liability to others and has been specifically designed to give you the protection you need. Extension insurance will cover you if your home collapses while creating a new opening through to the extension. Home insurance may not.
Self-Build Zone provides employers' and public liability insurance as standard, as we know that other people, including family and friends, could be working on site and they may get injured or someone may cause damage to a third party or their property. It is important that they are adequately protected and that also includes the cost of defending and/or pursuing a claim.
If you have a party wall agreement in place with one or more neighbours, you will probably be responsible for rectifying any damage caused to their property (however serious) so you should seek professional party wall advice in this respect and make sure you have adequate cover in place. We can also provide JCT 6.5.1 Insurance. Self-Build Zone provides a range of Site Insurance as well as our extension Site Insurance, to help you get the right cover.
Extension Site Insurance
Extension Site Insurance is available in a range of different policy durations which can be extended as required. Using Site Insurance for an extension project will provide cover in all the places home insurance does not, including providing cover when the property is unoccupied prior to and during the extension works. Most people do not realise that standard home insurance will not cover you adequately and carries many exclusions which can make it a waste of money. Simply relying on your builders' public liability is a very short-sighted approach and will not cover you unless you can demonstrate they were negligent. Site Insurance is the most practical and efficient way of covering your extension project.
Legal Expenses Insurance Cover
Extension projects can be complex affairs because of the diversity of trades working on the site and the associated variety of risks or exposures that come with that. We have many years experience of what goes wrong, what the major issues have been and what causes clients the most stress. Not using properly written contracts probably causes more problems and upset than anything else. Without a contract, you cannot prove the terms of engagement with professionals, contractors or suppliers.
We have known people to lose large amounts of money because they failed to use properly written contracts. When it comes to trying to make claims without this, it is very difficult as the ‘burden of proof’ is on you. With a contract, there is little escape. That is why with our contract package we give you unlimited use of the contract wordings.
We back this up with the addition of legal expense cover, which is provided as standard with all of our Site Insurance products (excluding developers insurance).
If a dispute arises, the legal team will provide you with essential legal advice to enable you to pursue a contractual dispute claim where there is a good prospect of success (terms and conditions apply).
By correctly using our contract templates you will have the necessary proof of the basis of the contract and hopefully enable a swift conclusion to any dispute.
Perhaps your Contractor Is Insured?
Relying on your contractors' or tradesmans' insurance may not always be the correct course of action. Many contractors only have public liability cover which is not sufficient as no-one is taking full responsibility for the work in progress. Public liability insurance only covers negligent acts and it is sometimes a very lengthy and costly process to prove this.
A nearly completed build that is seriously damaged by fire, flood or storm could result in a serious loss which could be life changing and really doesn't bear thinking about, so minimise your exposure to risk by protecting yourself with the appropriate Site Insurance cover.