Before you start any construction project, it is vital to have insurance cover in place to protect you, your workers and the structure itself.
At Freisenbruch-Meyer Insurance Services Ltd, expert members of staff can walk you through your options and assist you in a taking out a policy tailor-made to your needs.
Graham Hillier, vice-president of Insurance Operations, said: “In undertaking a construction project there’s a principal and a contractor, and both have an insurable interest in the project.
“As such either of them can take out insurance for that contract.
“The insurance they would be looking to purchase would be Contract Works insurance, (called by different names by different insurers), and this covers two main areas of risk.
“First, Property damage; Second, Legal Liability to Third Parties.
“The contractor, if he has employees, should also have workers’ compensation insurance and possibly employer’s liability insurance.
“The principal, or project manager, should ask for evidence of that insurance by way of a certificate as it is a legal requirement for contractors to have workers’ compensation insurance.
“If the contractor is arranging the insurance then the principal should also ask for certificate evidence of the property and liability cover too.
“A general contractor will often take out an annual Contract Works policy with the same elements of cover which will insure his normal construction contracts.
“The annual premium is based on the overall amount of work he does in a year.
“In this way he would not have to come to us every time he starts a new project. However there are limits, and large or unusual projects will need to be specifically insured.
“The cover provided by a Contract Works insurance policy can vary as the construction can range from a new building on a ground-up, green-field site through to renovations or additions to an existing structure.
“Furthermore the contract may have different requirements for a residential or commercial complex. It is important that we, as the insurer, are fully aware of the nature of the contract and the construction project as we want to make sure there are no gaps in cover.
“For example if there is a phased turnover of portions of the contract, the principal will need to have previously arranged standard building insurance contracts (Home or Commercial) which will seamlessly continue to insure the property at all times.”
Homeowners undertaking renovations or extensions should also ensure they are insured.
Heidi Grant, assistant vice-president of Commercial Underwriting, said: “When renovating or adding on to a home please make us aware in case it impacts the cover provided.
“When renovations are completed a homeowner will need to review their home policy with us to ensure there is no possibility of underinsurance or other gaps in cover.”
She said although contractors’ projects are down, there has been a move for homeowners to renovate existing properties during the recession.
“In the current economic climate people are doing smaller renovations,” said Ms Grant.
“There has definitely been a decrease in both the number and size of contractors’ projects, both home and commercial.
“The new King Edward VII Memorial Hospital is one of the larger projects being undertaken but during the past couple of years we have not seen as many of the medium and large-sized projects.”
To find an insurance cover to suit your needs, go to Freisenbruch-Meyer Insurance Services Ltd, 75 Front Street, Hamilton. Contact 296-3600 or e-mail email@example.com. For more information see the website www.fmgroup.bm