Many do-it-yourselfers see building or renovating their homes as exciting and enjoyable activities. While creating your home with your own hands seems to offer a great deal of freedom, there are several essential requirements you need to consider.
What Must I Oversee as An Owner-Builder?
Essentially, you will assume much of the same responsibility for your project as a registered builder. You must remember that as the property owner who is building or renovating a structure:
- You must meet the requirements of local, state, and national statutes.
- Manage all of the necessary conditions, forms, and applications, presenting them to the proper authorities in a timely manner.
- You need to be prepared to see the project through to completion.
- Comply with building standards together with the Building Code of Australia and the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984.
- Address your owner-builder insurance cover.
Can I Rely on the Insurance Cover I Have in Case of a Problem During Building?
The short answer to this question is no. When considering building your own home or doing your own renovation, many people hold the incorrect belief that they do not need any specific insurance cover.
However, as an owner-builder, you assume a high level of liability for your own actions as well as those of subbies and visitors to your site. It is also necessary for you to take into account the potential for losses caused by weather or theft.
What Kind of Cover Will I Need for My Project?
The specifics of your property and project will dictate what type of owner-builder insurance you will need. Here are a few types of insurance useful for owner-builders.
- Construction Insurance – This cover will guard against the unexpected events that can happen during your project. Some examples of this include fire, storm damage, theft, and malicious damage.
- Injury and Personal Accident Insurance – Owner-builders occasionally overlook personal injury/accident insurance, but it is necessary. Being the owner-builder, you will likely be on the site more than most people involved with your project. If you are injured or have an accident, this cover will take care of you and your living expenses.
- Public Liability Insurance – Having public liability insurance is necessary to provide cover for third- party injuries or property damage. Be aware of the details of your public liability cover policy. Many policies do not cover subbies because ordinances require them to carry their own insurance.
- Voluntary Works Insurance – If your neighbour, pop, or favourite co-worker is lending you a hand for free, you need to have voluntary works insurance. This gives cover to family and friends who are working on a site at no charge to the owner-builder.
- Workers Compensation Insurance – You will need this cover if you are employing others to work on your building project.
Must I Tell My Insurance Company About My Project?
It is important for you to inform your insurance company or broker of your plans. Spend some time checking over your policy to see if your cover includes your personal belongings and the existing structure during the construction or renovation.
Where Do I Find Information About State Insurance Cover Requirements?
Neglecting to find the details of state and local cover requirements and permits can be costly. For example, if you’re located in Perth, or other parts of Western Australia, you can get detailed information about requirements on the Western Australia Government website.
Making certain that you have proper cover for the people, equipment, and supplies on your construction site will let you focus on the important task at hand, your project.