Construction worker on building site

BUILDERS INSURANCE

As a member of the building and construction industry, you have quite a bit of company. The second-largest sector in Australia is the construction trade. It is easy to understand how running your business may seem to take everything you have and that you often are stretched to your limits. Spending your precious free time sifting through insurance policies for the best builder’s cover is not necessary when Tradies 365 can offer you the best choices for the best prices available.

At Tradies 365, we have experienced professionals who understand what you need from your builders’ insurance cover and have the skills to help you find the cover you need at a price that you can afford.

If your business is a part of the construction and building sector, you should obtain cover to protect yourself, your livelihood, workers, and third parties. There are variations in cover, depending on the risks associated with particular projects. Likewise, policies offer variations in the amount and quality of cover. It is important for you to speak with your insurance specialist to make sure your cover is appropriate. Many business people make the mistake of choosing their cover based solely on cost. Often, that becomes a regrettably costly error.

Because the building and construction industries are fraught with potential risks, it is essential to analyse your risks and then insure yourself accordingly. Doing so will help you see your company’s need for various types of insurance. Keep in mind that the Australian government lists worker’s compensation insurance as compulsory in all states and territories. Other compulsory insurance may vary by profession or other circumstances.

While there is risk in every business, specific risks will impact the amount and types of builder’s insurance cover you need. When it comes to risk assessment, the Australian government identifies three general categories.

  1. Opportunity Based Risks – These risks are common to all business sectors and involve choices you make as a business owner. Opening a second location, adding, or taking away services, or purchasing property are examples of opportunity-based risks. You can manage the potential for a negative impact of such choices with proper research.
  2. Uncertainty Based Risks – Difficult to predict risks such as the loss of critical suppliers, legal claims, economic downturns, or natural disasters. Once aware of these risks, creating a plan to reduce impact can help you weather certain events.
  3. Hazard Based Risks – These risks include dangerous situations in the workplace, faulty equipment, physical hazards, and environmental dangers. All Australian states have guidelines for businesses to manage hazard-based risks. These guides also highlight your legal obligations regarding risk management.

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WHAT KINDS OF INSURANCE ARE AVAILABLE FOR THOSE IN THE BUILDING SECTOR?

Numerous types of building and construction insurance are available. In some cases, policies are specific and may not apply to your business’ kind of projects.

Protect yourself with builders insurance

TYPES OF INSURANCE COVER FOR THE BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY

  • Public Liability Insurance – Protects you if you are liable because your negligence caused a physical, material, or economic loss to a third party.
    While public liability is not only for the building industry, it is worth noting that even with your own public liability cover you may be a party in a suit against one of your subbies. For this reason, you should make sure your subcontractors carry their own public liability cover.
  • Premises Insurance – Covers your buildings and their contents against loss.
    Whether you have a small office and storage facility or numerous buildings housing expensive equipment, you should have cover to protect your belongings and the places you house these items.
    Additionally, speak to your insurance expert regarding insuring at replacement value versus insuring at the depreciated value of the item in question. For particularly expensive gear, replacement value coverage is your smartest choice.
  • Work Vehicles and Trailers – The best skills and reputation in the world won’t help your company if you cannot get yourself and equipment to the job site.
    You will want your commercial vehicles to have the proper coverage so that any employees driving one of your vehicles are a part of the insurance cover. Also, you should be aware that the driving records of employees who will operate your fleet will likely impact the cost of your insurance. This may be something to consider as a part of your hiring process.
  • Mandatory Motor Vehicle Accident Personal Injuries Insurance – All Australian states and territories have compulsory cover for accidents and personal injuries for your company vehicles. While policies can differ, the three most common types of this cover include:
    • Third-Party Fire and Theft
    • Third-Party Property Damage
    • Comprehensive Cover
  • Insurance Cover for Builders’ Tools, Inventory, and Equipment – Few, if any, builders can function without the tools of their trade.
    To be sure this crucial part of your business is secure, you should consider an insurance policy specifically for tools, equipment, and supplies. Double-check your cover to make sure that items in question have insurance cover during transit or when they are in areas apart from your job site or company property.
    Some tools need cover that will provide for the replacement costs. Other less specialised items do well with cover that compensates you for the depreciated value of the item in question.
    If you have inventory or equipment that is highly specialised or very expensive, be sure to tell your insurance expert. In some cases special amendments to policies are necessary.
  • Contract Works for Builders – A contract works insurance policy is something no one in the construction or building sector should skimp on or skip.
    The cover exists to help you and your business while you are working on a project. Ideally, your contract works policy will cover you through all three phases of the project. The three phases being:

    1. Tender Phase – The period of time after you agree to the terms of a project on paper and when you begin building is the tender phase. Even though no construction is in the works, the property and any materials or equipment are still at risk from natural disasters, theft, fires, and other unforeseen problems.
    2. Construction Phase – You are likely aware of the potential hazards that abound while you are building. One potential problem many professionals in the construction industry do not expect is the danger of over-confidence that comes from being accident-free. Make sure you are adequately protected even if your last accident was in the distant past.
    3. Post-completion Phase – Until you have the property owner’s final approval, any problems are your responsibility. When it comes to your livelihood, you should avoid any unnecessary risks. Speak with your insurance expert to be sure your cover is sufficient.
  • You will typically receive the option of purchasing one of two kinds of contract works cover. Your insurance professional can help you decide which is the best choice for your company based on your specific data.
    1. Single Contract Works Policy – Purchasing a single contract works policy might be your best option if you do not have numerous projects throughout the year.
      The single policy will protect an individual job from start to finish for a predetermined amount of time. Usually, a single contract works policy will have an upper limit of 12-months.
    2. Annual Contract Works Policy – Opting for the annual policy will protect all of the projects your company is working on for a calendar year. An annual plan is often the most efficient and cost-effective option for businesses that generally work on several projects.
  • Illness or Injury Insurance Cover – Frequently, business owners erroneously believe that the compulsory workers’ compensation insurance they carry will provide for them in the event of an illness or injury. Unfortunately, this is not the case.
    Workers’ compensation insurance will pay only if your job causes injury or illness. Any events outside the workplace are not eligible for payment under workers compensation.
  • A Case Study – Dean operates a small construction company with his brother, Sam. He has all the appropriate builder’s insurance and chose to purchase a policy for injury or illness.
    While on a hike, Dean falls and breaks a leg. As a result of his injuries, he is unable to work for an extended time. Because the injuries were not work-related, workers compensation would not accept the claim. However, because of the injury or illness policy, Dean can pay bills and manage until he is able to work.
    Without the policy covering illness and injury, Dean could have potentially lost his home, car, and even his share of the family business if he had fallen far enough behind in his bills.
  • Home Warranty Insurance – All builders must carry a home warranty insurance policy. While most insurance cover you purchase is to protect yourself, a home warranty policy covers the homeowners.
    The rationale is simple; if during a build, you as a builder go out of business, pass away, or inherit millions and give up working, the homeowner will receive compensation so another builder can take over and complete project.

There are many details involved in building and construction insurance. Consider working with an insurance professional to arrange cover for your business. You will save time and hassle as well as gaining the peace of mind that comes with knowing you have the right insurance cover.

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