Does Builders Insurance Cover Break-ins And Damage On Site?

Caeva O'Callaghan | April 23rd, 2024

You might be aware that builders’ insurance covers public liability. But what about break-ins and damage while you’re on the building site – will your insurance cover the costs?

Only if you have CAR (contractors’ all risks) insurance will you be able to make a claim if the site is broken into. If the site is damaged and your tools and equipment broken or stolen, then you will be compensated for the loss.

If, however, you only have standard builders’ insurance and it doesn’t cover contractors’ all risks, you won’t be able to claim if there is a break-in on your building site.

In this article, we’ll go over the following questions:

● What is contractors’ all risks (CAR) insurance?

● Does my insurance cover equipment I hire in?

● How can I keep my building site safe?

Building is a high-risk profession where working with expensive tools is part of the job. Building sites are very attractive to thieves, so you need comprehensive cover to protect you against theft and damage.

What is contractors’ all risks (CAR) insurance?

Contractors’ all risks (CAR) insurance – not to be confused with “car insurance”, just to make things more complicated! – is also known as “contract works insurance”. This comprehensive cover gives you protection if the building work is damaged or destroyed by any kind of risk. This includes flooding or fire, as well as covering theft or damage to materials and equipment.

You should always consider getting insurance to cover any building works while they are in progress. If a builder or tradesperson causes damage to a property they were hired to work on, any standard public liability insurance would not provide full coverage and leave you and your project vulnerable to risks.

When you have a contractors’ all risk policy in place, you can rest easy knowing your client’s investment – and your tools and materials – are safe.

Does my insurance cover equipment I hire in?

Yes, it does – as long as you have contractors’ all risks insurance. Your contractors’ all risk policy can be extended to cover your own plant, or any plant that you hire from somewhere else and for which you are responsible, even if there is a break-in and someone steals it.

Building equipment and machinery is one of the most expensive parts of running your own contracting business. That’s why it makes sense to ensure you have good coverage in place.

CAR insurance includes cover for all contract works, any damage to the project being worked on, own plant, hired-in plant and employee’s tools. If you work with subcontractors, you’ll need to check that they have their own insurance. They won’t be able to claim on yours if they haven’t got cover.

This kind of insurance can be once-off or an annual policy depending on your requirements or those of your client. It can include cover for public and employers liability also.

You should buy builders’ insurance if you’re a building or groundworks contractor, or in an associated trade of any size, including plumbers, carpenters, tilers, painters and decorators, brick layers, heating and plumbing engineers, plastering, insulation, roofing, fit-out, and flooring contractors.

How can I keep my building site safe?

Prevention is always the best cure. To avoid getting caught up in a lengthy claims process, prevent your tools and plant from being damaged or stolen in the first place. Always keep your van locked, and never leave tools outside in a public place, even for a short while. Make sure you have no expensive tools left in your van overnight, and state so clearly on your vehicle with a sign or sticker.

Always install padlocks on your toolboxes, and keep your keys on you throughout your working day, or stored in a safe location.

Be aware of whoever is entering and leaving the building site. As long as you take all necessary on-site precautions, your insurance will have no problem processing any claim you make.

Still not sure if you need contractors’ all risks (CAR) insurance? Get in touch with us today, and we can help make sure all your materials and equipment have the best cover at a price that’s right for you.








All Information in this post is accurate as of the date of publishing.