Does Builders Insurance Cover Over-runs On A Job?
Caeva O'Callaghan | April 1st, 2021
Building work often takes longer than anyone expected – but will you be able to claim on your standard builders’ insurance?
No. Your builders’ insurance will cover you for things like theft, fire on sites, professional indemnity and more (depending on your policy), but no builders’ insurance will cover you if the work takes too long to complete.
This is because it is part of your professional responsibility to ensure that your schedule of works is well thought out and executed.
In this article, we’ll cover the following questions:
- Will my builders’ insurance cover me if a job takes too long?
- What if I’m sick or injured and can’t complete a project?
- How can I make sure I complete a building project on time?
Your insurance is there to cover you for unforeseen – and therefore unexpected – events. If you haven’t blocked out enough time for a building project, it would be evident early on that you need to readjust your schedule.
Will my builders’ insurance cover me if a job takes too long?
No, it won’t. There is no form of builders’ insurance you can currently purchase which will cover you if a job takes longer than you anticipated.
As a builder, you need to be experienced enough to be able to schedule a project, from small one-hour jobs to larger renovations which take months or years to complete. Doing so takes expertise and attention to detail: all of which is your responsibility. If you find yourself running out of time, you need to juggle your responsibilities accordingly to fulfil the contract with your client.
Just because you haven’t got insurance cover for this eventuality, doesn’t mean a client can’t sue you for it. On starting work, you will have a contract in place with the client that should state when the work is to be completed. If you overrun this date, you are in breach of this contract and the client is within their rights to press charges if they deem it is necessary.
What if I’m sick or injured and can’t complete a project?
If you have taken every precaution when scheduling the building work and become too ill or suffer an injury that prevents you completing the project, this counts as an unforeseeable event and is therefore an insurable risk.
You should have personal accident and sickness insurance in place to be able to cover the cost of work lost due to poor health. Builders are just as much at risk for illness and injury on a building site as members of the public, so all safety precautions should be taken for your claim to be successful.
Common causes of builders’ injuries include:
- Injury from power tools and machinery
- Strained joints and sprains
- Bad backs from years of manual labour
- Inhalation of harmful substances
- Burns, scalds and grazes
You should always take time off if you become ill. Building is hard work and your body needs to rest and heal: and it should go without saying that if your illness is contagious, you should stay well away from clients, subcontractors and members of the public.
How can I make sure I complete a building project on time?
Creating a feasible project schedule is a skill every builder needs to learn. You need to allow more than enough time for all work to be completed, as well as a healthy allowance for unforeseen setbacks and delays.
From the weather to problems with materials, faulty equipment and bank holidays, there are a dizzying array of factors which can hold up any construction project.
You should never attempt to rush a project, or underestimate the time you need to complete the work just to impress your client. Ultimately, if they demand the project be done by a specific time and you know you would have difficulty doing so, you need to inform them of such and/or turn down the work.
Also, you should never double-book your services or schedule projects too close together if you know there might be a problem. This can have a knock-on effect that may affect your business’ reputation, and impact your bottom line.
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All Information in this post is accurate as of the date of publishing.