Property damage is part and parcel of working in construction. So, for protection against financial loss resulting from property damage, contractors need insurance. Unfortunately, not all insurance is created equal. As a matter of fact, there is no one policy that will cover all the risks you find on a building project.
For this reason, you have to be careful when investing in insurance. In short: does the policy give you protection from property damage claims?
Insurers design each of these policies to cover against losses incurred from specific occurrences. So to adequately protect your business, you will usually require several policies.
Among the essential policies for a contracting business is Builder’s Risk insurance, also known as course of construction. In a nutshell, this coverage protects buildings and other structures while they are being built or renovated.
Here’s more on Builder’s Risk insurance, including whether or not it covers property damage claims.
Short answer, yes. But there’s a catch, Builder’s Risk insurance only covers property damage claims resulting from damage to the insured’s property during the course of construction.
Imagine you have an ongoing residential or commercial construction project in one of the areas affected by wildfires. Only to report to the project site one morning to find the building you’re working on burned to the ground. A Builder’s Risk insurance policy, in this case, will help cover your losses if this is specified on your policy.
However, there are instances where your Builder’s Risk will not protect your business from property damage claims.
Now, say a third-party makes a liability claim against your business due to bodily injury, property damage, or personal injury caused by your construction activities. Will Builder’s Risk insurance cover you then? No. For protection against liability claims, you will require to purchase a contractor general liability policy.
So assuming you’re renovating a client’s living room when one of your employees accidentally knocks over an expensive ceramic floor vase, breaking it. Or a hammer that slips from your subcontractor’s hand lands on a pedestrian walking nearby, injuring them. In both instances, only General Liability insurance will protect your business.
Builder’s Risk insurance also covers all sorts of property damage, including
In addition to fire, Builder’s Risk policies also protect against loss or damage caused by theft, vandalism, explosion, hail, windstorm (may be excluded in coastal areas), lightning, smoke, and vehicle/aircraft collision.
You can extend your coverage to cover other types of property or causes of loss not included in your standard policy. Common coverage extensions include debris removal, pollutant clean-up and removal, construction documents, and soft costs resulting from construction delay (e.g., lost sales, additional interest on loans, and real estate taxes).
Liability claims are not the only exclusions under a Builder’s Risk insurance policy. Standard exclusions include extreme weather events such as floods, earthquakes, landslides, and volcanic eruptions. Others causes of loss excluded include:
Are you embarking on a ground-up or renovation construction project? Builders Risk would like to help protect your business in the event of property damage claims. Talk to one of our agents today at 877 960 0221, and we’ll help you find an affordable policy that’s suitable for your business needs.