Demand leads to new renovation cover

Wednesday 23 November 2016

New insurance policy means that investors can now get cover for small but value-adding residential building projects.

By Miriam Bell

BuiltIn Insurance has just launched a Small Project Guarantee which covers any residential building project with a value of up to $30,000.

High demand for renovation work has left the building industry struggling to keep up and reports of shoddy workmanship are increasing.

Buitlin Insurance’s Ben Rickard said this has led to demand from property owners for affordable insurance cover for residential building work below the $30,000 threshold.

This prompted the development of the Small Project Guarantee which will cover work such as renovations, decks, fences and minor alterations, he said.

“We have always done Guarantees on bigger building projects. But there are a lot of smaller projects going on which we thought would benefit from protection.

“This policy gives property owners the same peace of mind for their small projects that those building new homes can get.”

The policy guarantees that the workmanship and materials supplied by the builder will be free of defects for 10 years.

It also covers the property owner’s deposit and guarantees completion of the work if their builder is unable to finish it.

Rickard said tens of thousands of residential renovation projects are undertaken every year and the vast majority of projects are completed without incident.

“But the cost of something going wrong, such as their builder going bust or finding a serious defect, can put severe strain on families, both financially and emotionally.

“An insurance-backed guarantee is now a very affordable way to manage this risk.”

BuiltIn has tried to make the policy as straightforward as possible, he said.

“So as long as the project is residential work under $30,000 and the builder has met Builtin’s assessment criteria and been guaranteed, the policy is available.”

The assessment criteria includes a declaration of the builder’s financial solvency and the builder’s eligibility status must be kept up to date.

Rickard said this gives additional assurance that the builder’s business has been professionally scrutinised, whether or not they are a Licensed Building Practitioner.

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