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- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 09 Dec 2020
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When it comes to hiring a builder for a project, it is important to consider a wide range of factors. Whether appointing a sole trader, or a big building firm to take on a larger project, knowing the background of the builder is important. In particular it is crucial to ensure they have the right type of insurance for the work to be carried out.
Construction is a high-risk industry, accounting for 20.9% of work-related fatalities in the EU-28 in 2014. As a result, it is imperative that builders have the most appropriate types and levels of insurance, and the most up-to-date policies to incorporate every aspect of the job that they are carrying out. If an accident occurs on a property and the builder does not have the most appropriate insurance, then the client may find themselves liable for any damages.
Public liability insurance is generally required to provide cover against personal injury or death, or loss or damage to property of third parties such as members of the public or independent sub-contractors.
If a builder does not have the most appropriate public liability insurance, and an accident occurs, the client may find they are held accountable. The Citizens Advice Bureau advises that all homeowners ensure that any builder they are looking to hire has appropriate public liability insurance. This means asking to see certificates proving that insurance is in place.
Companies that have employees must have employer’s liability insurance, by law. This can protect the employees working for the company from any injuries or accidents that may occur due to the high risk environment.
Providers of professional services, such as design, should have professional indemnity insurance (PI insurance). Indeed many clients will not enter into a contractual relationship with a supplier unless they can demonstrate that they hold professional indemnity insurance to a specified minimum level.
There are a number of different insurance options for builders to choose from, including all-risk cover, contract works cover, goods in transit cover, tools cover, plant cover and more. Knowing that a builder is covered can protect clients in the long run, as well as the people that may be affected by the work they are carrying out.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Contractors' all-risk insurance.
- Employer's liability insurance.
- Future of construction insurance.
- Hiring an architect as a domestic client.
- How to find a builder.
- JCT Clause 6.5.1 Insurance.
- Legal indemnity insurance.
- Professional Indemnity Insurance.
- Public liability insurance.
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