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Insuring a Self Build Project

By: Elaine Everest - Updated: 13 Oct 2010 | comments*Discuss
Policy Self-build Insurance Small Print

One of the first purchases, after paying for the building plot, should be insurance for your self-build. Without this cover you could be held liable for many thousands of pounds if there was an accident on site. There are many sections to a self -build insurance policy and you should ensure you have them all covered.

Home Policy

The policy that covers your present home's building and contents will not cover you for a self-build even if it is on the same site as your home. A self-build policy is detailed to cover all aspects of your build.

Public Liability

Your self-build policy should have a public liability clause so that anyone visiting the site is covered in case of accident.


Any subcontractor employed to work on your building site must prove he has a current public liability insurance. Keep a copy of all these documents on file in case they are needed in an emergency. Make it a condition of employment that they have their own insurance


You will be employing workers on site and you must ensure your policy has cover for employment. It is not necessary to list the names of employees on this type of policy just that there is adequate cover for them.


There will be expensive tools and equipment on site and it is imperative that you are adequately covered in case of their theft. When hiring equipment check to see whether there is insurance costed into the hire charge or whether you will be liable.


If you have a mortgage on your self-build the lending company will ask if you have insurance cover.


Do not forget that the insurance policy should also cover injury to you. You are the most important person during the build and if anything should happen and you cannot work the build could be put back by months.

Legal Fees

Always ensure that there is cover for legal fees. Things go wrong with projects as large as a self-build and it is comforting to know that you will be covered if there is a breach of contract with any of the people you employ or services they provide.

Small Print

Check the small print of your policy and follow the guidelines. For example it may be exciting to let your niece and nephew visit the site but the policy dictates that small children are not allowed on site (it's not really the right place for children anyway) then abide by this ruling. A claim could be void if rules are broken.


Most policies are set for the length of the build but if your circumstances change during the build and it looks as though the completion date could be longer than two years check that the policy is still viable.


Policy prices and contents can differ between insurance companies so shop around for the deal that best suits your circumstances. A rough rule of thumb to cost is to expect a fee of 0.5% of the build, excluding the cost of the plot.

With insurance in place and tailored to your requirements you can carry out your build in the confidence that if anything unfortunate should occur you will be safely covered.

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