Does Builders Insurance Cover Vandalism?

Caeva O'Callaghan | October 17th, 2023

It’s every builders’ worst nightmare: the building site has been broken into overnight. But will your builder insurance cover it?

No, not on a standard tradesman’s liability policy. If you’re worried about the risk of vandalism on your building site, you need to take out a “contractors’ all risks” (CAR) insurance policy.

CAR insurance – not to be confused with car insurance for your vehicle – will give you extra protection and cover vandalism to any plant, machinery or building which you are responsible for.

In this article, we’ll cover the following:

Building sites are very dangerous places, yet they attract thieves and vandals like no other. Make sure you protect your site to ensure public safety and protect your work in progress.

What is contractors’ all risk insurance?

No matter if you’re tackling a conversion, extension or new build, contractors’ all risk (CAR) insurance protects the whole site against losses caused by fire, flood, theft, vandalism and accidental damage.

Such disasters on building sites can cost an inordinate amount of time and money to fix. This is why having the right insurance in place is an integral part to the success of a development, and should not be overlooked in an effort to save a relatively small amount of money.

Not only does contractors’ all risk insurance protect the site against thieves and vandals, it also covers tools, equipment and materials, including hired-in plant. If a fire or flood occurs, this means everything is covered and you should be able to replace what has been lost.

Standard builders’ insurance policies don’t always cover every eventuality. Having a contractors’ all risk policy in place fills in those gaps.

Does builders’ insurance protect a working site?

When you have contractors’ all risk insurance, yes. Building sites are not occupied all of the time, and are therefore vulnerable to thieves, vandals and the elements. Without constant supervision, something may go wrong with no one present to stop it.

Say for example you are building a house and it burns down before you hand it back to the owner, but no one suffered injury because it was empty. Public liability would not cover the disaster, but the cost of the build so far will come back to you thanks to your contractors’ all risks policy.

Or, for example, say a group of vandals broke into your building site one night and started to smash up roof slates, steal copper wire and spray paint graffiti over new brickwork. Then say the Gardai were informed, and one of the vandals injured themselves when trying to make a getaway.

In this scenario, your contractors’ all risk insurance would cover not only the damage to your materials and the building in progress, but also pay for the replacement of the copper wire. Your public liability insurance would also cover the vandal’s injuries, should any legal complications arise.

Are my tools and materials covered by builders’ insurance?

Yes, as long as you have more than the bare minimum builders’ insurance in place. Contractors’ all risk insurance covers plant, tools and materials, even machinery you hire in. However, a standard building insurance will not cover them unless you add on tools and materials for an extra cost.

Talk to your insurance broker, and they can help you find coverage for everything you need. Building materials and tools can be expensive, so you should absolutely make sure they have good coverage in place.

For example, adding Products Liability covers you in the event of a claim relating to parts and materials you install. If you bought a faulty pack of ceramic wall tiles, this is the policy you need if the tiles arrive damaged and the job suffers a delay as a result.

If you have any questions on builders insurance, public liability or contractors’ all risk cover, call us today and talk to our builders insurance experts, and we can help you find the perfect insurance for your business.








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