A guide to self build insurance

A self build insurance policy will protect you and your project against a range of risks. W explain how the right insurance policy can keep the dream of building your own home from turning into a nightmare.

By Charlotte Byrne | 25 July 2018

From site insurance and structural warranties to architect’s certificates, our simple guide tells you all you need to know about how to protect yourself – and your project – from risk.

Self build insurance

Image: Insured with warranties Architect duo Eilir Sheryn and Fredericke van Ellen (01364 653 503; vanellensheryn.com) designed and built their family home in Ashburton, near Newton Abbot. The energy-efficient, timber-frame property measures 340sqm and cost £325,000 to build. 

It’s an exciting moment when you first see your name on the deeds for your building plot. But with that thrill comes responsibility. The right insurance policy can keep the dream of building your own home from turning into a nightmare. Here’s how:

What does site insurance cover?

Self build site insurance is sometimes called contract works insurance and covers issues such as storms, flooding and fire that affect the main house, temporary buildings and  the building you are constructing.

A standard policy will cover building works, materials, plant, tools and equipment, including any that are hired, temporary residence and employees’ personal effects, personal accident, public and employers’ liability, legal expenses and your personal possessions.

Things to check and consider

Make sure you are covered against theft of tools or materials. While employees’ personal effects will be covered as standard, check the limit as it can be low.

Even if contractors and tradespeople have their own insurance any accidents on site may still be your responsibility. Make sure your policy covers public liability for up to £5million and that is in place for the entire length of the project.

Pick a flexible product that can be extended if your project overruns or converted to regular buildings insurance if your build finishes ahead of schedule.