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What are existing structures

Adam Weaver

What are Existing Structures?

For an owner builder, the existing structures are any buildings on the property prior to the period of insurance. 

This means that existing structures could be:

  • The home you're renovating; or
  • Outbuildings or fencing you need to insure; or
  • The work you've completed before taking on a new insurance policy with a new insurer

Should I insure these Existing Structures

Most of the time, your regular home insurer won't agree to insure the home building you're renovating against damage for the period of the renovation. Some of these insurers say "no cover for damage caused by the renovation", some say "no cover at all", and some confusingly alternate between the two statements, depending on how deeply you question the insurer's call centre staff.

For peace of mind, we generally recommend that you insure the existing structure with the cosntruction insurance (we can provide quotes for Standard Existing Structures as well as Deluxe Existing Structures).

Can I include the Existing Structure in the Contract Value

Unless you have a special agreement with the insurer, we'd strongly recommend against trying to include the Existing Structures sum insured in the regular Contract Value sum insured.

Insurers define Contract Works to be the work undertaken during the Period of Insurance, not works completed prior to the current period. If you're changing insurer, you have a new Period of Insurance, so the pre-existing work may or may not be insured. At worst, an insurer may refuse to pay for the pre-existing work (because it's not in the insured period), or at best may only agree to pay after negotiation. 

We'd recommend avoiding this trap and making sure that you insure the already-completed work as it should be insured, under the Existing Structures.

Existing Structures Cover Options

Our quotes provide two levels of cover: Standard Existing Structures and Deluxe Existing Structures.

Standard covers the existing strutures against any damage caused by the project (i.e. caused by the work insured under the Contract Value sum).

Deluxe covers the existing structures against other damage - e.g. fire, storm, theft, malicious damage, earthquake, impact, flood, and other sudden and accidental damage neither intended or expected by you.


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