• Nicky Frost

Do I still need site insurance if I’m using a main contractor?

When you’re in the planning stages of a house extension, conversion or self-build, your to-do list from the start is already quite lengthy, with broken down elements from the design, planning, and build stages and costs associated with each aspect. This may include appointing an architect, structural engineer and of course, someone to build it!


So, once you’ve decided on the best team for the project, funds are agreed and you’re ready to go, you should also ensure you have the right insurance in place and that it will last for the duration of the works.


site insurance for house extensions and selfbuilds
Self build and extension site insurance when using a main contractor

Many of us make the same assumption that if you are using a main contractor then their insurance will be adequate protection throughout the project, however, if you are contracting with one builder to carry out all the works from start to finish, then be sure to check that the contract states they are responsible for insuring the whole project from the moment they start excavation right up to project completion. You can’t guarantee that your builder/main contractor will have insurance — you’d be surprised at just how many builders and tradespeople don’t carry any/or adequate insurance for the work they do, especially if they work ‘cash in hand’.


Your builder isn’t an insurance expert, so although they may say they are ‘fully insured’, it’s possible they only have Public Liability insurance which covers them in the event they cause damage or injury to a third party following a negligent act. What public liability doesn’t cover is issues like storm damage, theft of materials and plant, arson, or foreseen liability – essentially all the things you do need cover!


Ideally, your builder should have a 'Contractors All Risks' insurance policy. Check that it’s in force and if the renewal date falls during the project make sure it’s renewed on time, and you get a copy. It’s important to check the limit on the policy is sufficient to cover the full reinstatement cost of the contract too! If you have any doubts, then organise some site insurance yourself.


“You can’t guarantee that your builder/main contractor will have insurance — you’d be surprised at just how many builders and tradespeople don’t carry any/or adequate insurance for the work they do, especially if they work ‘cash in hand’.”</