The Risks to Owner Builders Taking Over a Partially Complete Build

August 7, 2023

Understanding Contract Works Insurance

An increasing number of builders and owner builders have taken over partially complete construction projects recently, due to the collapse of large building companies, material and tradie labour shortages. Contract works insurance is nothing new and having it is generally good business practice to protect your building works, required by your financiers and for permits to be issued.

Safety is paramount and when taking over an ongoing project, you assume responsibility for the safety of workers and the public on the site. Any accidents or injuries that occur during the transition can expose you to potential legal liabilities. Contract works insurance provides coverage for bodily injuries and property damage, safeguarding you from the financial repercussions of such incidents.

What is Contract Works Insurance?

Contract works insurance covers builders and tradies from accidental loss or damage to the build while working on the project. It’s benefits include:

  • Material damage cover – to reinstate the asset lost or damaged due to fire, water, storm damage, theft, vandalism, malicious damage, earthquake and accidental damage and can extend to protect tools and equipment.
  • Removal of debris
  • Professional fees including architects, surveyors and consulting engineers
  • Expediting costs including express delivery, overtime wages and the hire of additional labour
  • Leak search and repair costs where the pipeline falls within the scope of cover
  • Claims preparation costs
  • Reinstatement of sums insured
  • Cover for existing structures on the site before work commences is an additional option
  • Testing and commissioning to new electrical and mechanical equipment for 4 weeks is an additional option

To make the process of obtaining insurance for a partially complete build easier, the type of information that the insurer will need includes:

  1. Completed documentation including sign offs for example slab sign offs, frames sign offs, Geotec reports and similar reports.
  2. Photos internal and external of the construction site and partially complete works.
  3. Full details of the works to date and what is still to go including construction values.

While there are many reasons for the increase in partially complete builds in recent months, imar can help you get moving on with your build. There are 2 easy ways to get a quote for contract works insurance:

  • Call 1300 540 156 and press 1 to speak to our dedicated tradie broker team
  • Fill out our online Contact Our Experts form


Disclaimer: You should consider if the insurance is suitable for you and read the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS), Financial Services Guide (FSG) and policy wording before making a decision to acquire insurance. Please ask us for more details before we provide you with our services. Our FSG is available on our website.

Legal Disclaimer: The content – including publication links – on this blog and website are intended only to provide a general overview on matters of interest. It is not intended to be comprehensive nor does it constitute legal advice. We attempt to ensure that the Content is current but we do not guarantee its currency. 

General Advice warning: To the extent that any material in this document may be considered advice, it does not take into account your objectives, needs or financial situation, and is considered general in nature only. You should seek legal or other professional advice before acting or relying on any of the Content. All insurance policies contain exclusions of cover, and no claim is guaranteed. Refer to the Product Disclosure Statement.

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