Minimum insurance requirements
Adam Weaver firstname.lastname@example.org
What's the Minimum Insurance Requirement?
There's no strict one-size-fits-all insurance requirement for owner builders, just like your house isn't the same as everyone else'.
Rather than looking at what's the cheapest overall, we think you should be looking at what's the best package to cover yourself properly.
Public Liability and Contract Works
Without a doubt, the two major types of insurance owner builders need are public liability and contract works.
Public Liability covers you the owner builder if someone sues you for personal injury or property damage. For example, a visitor to the site is hurt on an unsafe worksite, and you're blamed for the injury. Or perhaps a fire spreads from your worksite and damages your neighbour's house.
It's important to note that most public liability claims that may occur will be directed at the builder in charge of the site (ie. you), so any insurance that may be held by contractors will not help in those cases.
Whether or not you actually are at fault, Public Liability is important to defend you, pay legal costs, and pay compensation to the injured party.
Contract Works covers you the owner builder if your project is damaged - including by storm, earthquake, bushfire, vandalism or theft of building materials. Your tradesmen do not cover this - their insurance is generally only public liability protecting them if they are sued for injury or damage.
A much trickier concept is workers' compensation. Whether or not you think your tradesmen should have their own insurance, if you're using sole trader contractors (i.e. not Pty Ltd companies), they can NOT cover themselves for workers compensation. This is why there's a very real risk that one of those contractors could be deemed to be your worker at law. Not your employee, but your worker.
Determining who is a worker is complicated, and it depends in part on the exact relationship between you and the contractor at the time of the injury. There are cases where a determination can even be based solely on the fact that the contractor didn't (or more acurately couldn't) have their own cover.
For that reason, we always recommend that you talk to WorkCover in your state (iCare in NSW) to determine if you should have workers compensation insurance or not. But get the advice in writing!
There are other risks on your project, including injury to volunteers, damage to your Existing Structures (property existing prior to the start of this insurance), or theft of your own tools.
Our quote form takes about 90 seconds to complete, and will instantly e-mail you a quote including these options. Quotes are obligation free and are very simple to obtain.
We back up our quotes with our $50 price guarantee - if you find the same cover available cheaper, we'll beat that price by $50.
Why not get a quote and see what we can do for you today?