Adam Weaver firstname.lastname@example.org
Medical Expenses and Rehabilitation
Getting hurt isn't cheap - if you or one of your workers is hurt on the project, medical attention at the hospital and most importantly rehabilitation afterwards can be expensive and long.
Make sure you consider health and wellbeing (for yourself as well as your workers) when working on your project.
The first (and sometimes only) port of call is Medicare.
Not many people realise this, but the Health Insurance Act of 1973 prohibits insurers from offering medical expenses coverage in Australia except under limited circumstances. Accordingly, you'll only see medical expenses insurance under Health Insurance, and Workers Compensation. You'll never see it anywhere else - it's simply against the law.
We recommend that all owner builders investigate health insurance to cover medical costs.
What about rehabilitation & loss of income while you're recovering from the injury?
Income Protection, Life, and TPD
You should also look at income protection insurance to cover your loss of income while recuperating. You may find that your superannuation fund offers income protection insurance as an add on (and it's usually quite cost effective!). Just make sure you have the appropriate cover here - life, TPD, income protection, and trauma insurance are all very different. Your life insurance advisor should help you here.
Public Liability and Workers Compensation
Commonly people assume that public liability covers owner builders for injury. That's unfortunately incorrect; public liability covers the owner builder's responsibility to pay compensation to other people (hence the word "public") for personal injury caused by the owner builder project. Since you can't actually sue yourself, the consequences of self-injury on the site need to be insured by health or income insurance.
Workers Compensation has the same problem - workers compensation is to cover statutory responsibilities towards deemed workers of the owner builder, not the owner builder itself. Since you as the owner builder are the "boss" and not the "worker", workers compensation doesn't cover the owner builder, only the workers of the owner builder.
Volunteers are people helping you out on your project with manual labour, under your direction, for free, and without expectation of reward. We offer Volunteers Cover to insure the loss of income of volunteers (including the owner builder and spouse) following injury on the project. Volunteers Cover cannot cover those medical expenses prohibited by the Health Insurance Act 1973; in general it can only cover the loss of income and non-medical additional expenses.
Consider your options
When weighing up the costs of being an owner builder, please consider what could go wrong, and how you can best offset that risk with insurance. When we provide quotes we break our prices down into individual sections so you can see exactly what you're paying for, and only buy insurance against the required risks.
Quotes take around 90 seconds and are instantly e-mailed to you, together with a copy of the policy wording and an explanation of what is insured.
Of course if you get stuck, please send an e-mail or give us a call 1300 255 747.