Self-building is an incredibly exciting process but it’s also a complicated one. With so many potential snags along the way, self build insurance is essential.

With a self build policy, you’re protecting yourself, your property and your contractors from the possible pitfalls that lie ahead. While nobody likes to dwell on worst case scenarios, an insurance policy will give you peace of mind, enabling you to enjoy watching your new home take shape.

What is a Self Build Insurance Policy?

A self build insurance policy should be specially tailored for the needs of self builders. It should provide cover to protect you, your contractors, the construction site and the property throughout the build.

There are a few things that your insurance policy should always include:
  1. Public liability: This part of the policy would cover you if a member of the public suffered damage, injury or loss on your construction site. It should also be valid if an incident happened outside the site but as a result of work happening on the site. Even if you’ve only just bought your plot and haven’t started construction, it is very sensible to have public liability insurance in place just in case.
  2. Employers’ liability: Anyone working on your build is classed as your employee for the purposes of insurance, making you liable for their welfare whilst on-site. This part of the policy covers you in the event of any injury, death or loss that occurs while someone is working on your build.
  3. Contractors all risk: This covers you for those unfortunate incidents like theft, fire, weather damage and vandalism that might happen while the build is underway.
  4. Contract works: This would cover the cost of repairing damage that might occur during the build.
  5. Legal expenses: This part of the policy would usually cover eligible legal costs you incur because of the build. Either from you taking legal action against a third party or from someone taking action against you.

Do I Really Need Self Build Insurance?

Building a house is a huge and expensive decision and not one you’ll have taken lightly. Insuring your build is an essential step towards protecting all the money, time and emotion you’ve put into your new home.

You also need to be aware of the risks involved. Even with conscientious contractors and rigorous health and safety practices. A building site is a dangerous place with lots of scope for incidents and accidents. During the building process, your property will also be very vulnerable to theft and the weather. Therefore insuring your new build will prevent your hopes from being dashed by any mishaps or unintentional  damage.

Not having insurance might also make your life a lot more difficult during the build. Third parties like lenders may expect to see proof of insurance before going ahead. Meaning your build could easily stall due to a lack of cover.

What Other Insurance Do I Need for a Self Build?

You are a key part of your self build. Making some kind of plan that will make sure the build can be completed in the unlikely event that you pass away or become incapacitated would be very sensible. Life and serious injury insurance can be one way to build in that contingency. However, there may be specific insurance requirements if you have a lender. For example, most lenders will insist on build-out insurance to enable them to finish the build in case you don’t or can’t.

You should also look ahead. Once your build is finished, your self build policy won’t automatically cover your property and the contents as normal home insurance would. You should arrange to automatically transition your policy to a household policy on completion or find a new one.

Thinking about everything that could go wrong might not be nearly as fun as dreaming about your new home. However, it is incredibly important that you protect those dreams by taking these simple steps. When it comes to self build insurance, the old adage that you should plan for the worst and hope for the best is a good one to keep in mind.

At Potton, we are here with you through every stage of your self build. With have a team of experts ready to guide you through your self build journey. Contact us today, to chat about your requirements and how we can help support you with your self build project.