• Nicky Frost

Your self-build and extension insurance questions answered

If you’re in the planning stages of a self-build housing project or a home extension, insurance considerations need to be made to ensure you have the right cover in place before work starts and throughout the build period. This blog covers the most common questions around site insurance and the importance of not relying on your existing building insurance policy or your builder’s insurance.

Adding site insurance to the cost of your extension might not be something you’ve either thought about or made a priority for your upcoming project. But it is wise not to solely rely on your standard building insurance to cover the cost of any loss or damage as, more often than not, they will not pay out on a loss involving a property under development.

1. Can I just rely on my existing home insurance?

Home insurance is not designed to cover building projects. It specifically excludes alterations, renovations and extensions, as well as cover for unoccupied properties. This has been regularly highlighted on various TV programmes such as BBC’s Rip Off Britain. A couple’s build project was completely destroyed by fire and their home insurer refused the claim.

2. Surely my builder’s insurance will cover me?

Your builder may say they are ‘fully insured’ – and they probably believe it themselves –but the likelihood is they actually only have public liability insurance which covers them in the event they cause damage or injury to a third party following a negligent act, which of course you would have to prove. Being a liability insurance, it doesn’t cover issues like storm damage, arson, theft of materials or plant and equipment or foreseen liability — essentially all the things you really do need to protect yourself against.

3. My plant hire company always insures their equipment, so why do I need to buy more insurance?

The person signing the hire contract is invariably responsible for repairing damaged plant or replacing it if it’s lost or stolen while it is on hire. You are also responsible for the continuing hire charges until it is replaced. If you are hiring a crane and operator, you will be responsible, and even a small crane can cost hundreds of thousands of pounds to replace. Plant, tools and equipment can all be included as part of our site insurance policy.