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What is Builder's Risk Insurance?

Existing buildings are exposed to a wide variety of threats—fire, flooding, and vandalism are just a few of the ways building structures can be harmed. However, buildings under construction aren't ready to face risks that completed buildings can withstand. There's also the chance of an accident during the construction phase, like materials being destroyed or installed incorrectly. A proper risk analysis from our Sierra Oak Insurance Services agents can help reduce the number of threats a new construction faces, and our agents can help reveal additional threats that may need to be covered by additional policies.

Builder's risk insurance is a policy designed to mitigate the chance of loss and protect you in the event that damage is done to the building. This policy is most commonly purchased by landowners and those funding the project, although some contractors purchase it in order to have more control over how each job is insured.

This policy is mainly designed for new construction, rather than changes and improvements to existing buildings. That form of construction is usually covered by property insurance and does not need any additional coverage, although it's best to talk with an agent before starting any particularly large project just to be absolutely sure it's covered.

What Does Builder's Risk Insurance Cover? What Does It Not Cover?

Builder's Risk Insurance generally covers the owner, the lending institution, the contractor(s) performing the work, and other related parties. In addition to providing coverage for damage to the building itself, most plans also cover temporary constructs (like scaffolding), materials, and equipment being used (whether it's currently on-site or off-site). The majority of policies are written on an all-perils basis, which means that reimbursements are available for any losses except those specifically excluded.

Common exclusions from this coverage include (but are not limited to):

  • The value of the land itself
  • Employee theft
  • Damages beyond the estimated value of the construction
  • Any losses brought by law or ordinance changes
  • Damage from earthquakes
  • Losses from war, nuclear hazards, or actions by civil authority

As you can see, most of the exclusions are not likely to occur during the course of a normal construction project. The value of the land is the only one likely to change as new work is done, and you will likely need to account for any improvements or losses the next time your company prepares taxes.

Builder's Risk Insurance Policy Lengths

Most policies last until the building is no longer under construction. The exact point at which this occurs can vary—it may be when certain parts of the structure are done (but finishing work, like painting, has not been completed), up to the day it opens for business, or when the contract with the construction company ends. If you're worried about interim risks—like the building being damaged between when construction finishes and when it opens for business—talk to one of our agents and ask about extending your coverage.

 

1. "Threat/Vulnerability Assessments and Risk Analysis." WBDG. Accessed April 20, 2016. https://www.wbdg.org/resources/riskanalysis.php.

2. "Who Should Buy Builder’s Risk Insurance?" BuildingAdvisor. Accessed April 20, 2016. http://buildingadvisor.com/who-should-buy-builders-risk-insurance/.

3. "How Do I Account for Land improvements?" Questions & Answers - AccountingTools. Accessed April 20, 2016. http://www.accountingtools.com/questions-and-answers/how-do-i-account-for-land-improvements.html.

Our Location

Sierra Oak Insurance Services

9700 Business Park Drive, Suite 105
Sacramento, CA 95827
Main office: 916-823-8707
Toll free: 888-590-5282
Fax: 916-364-7381

Our Providers

Testimonials

I’m extremely confident with my policy that I have with Sierra Oak. They recommend strong coverage options and make sure that I always have what I need. They constantly keep me informed of new coverage offers and discounts, and they’re also always willing to shop around for better rates. I feel very safe with them and I know that I’m paying for what I truly need and nothing more.

Christina Moore
They always respond quickly, whether it be through email or phone. Upon signing up they gave me a contact list of who’s in charge of what policy so I could save time by contacting them directly. If they don’t know an answer to a question, they’ll find out and get back to me within the day. Great customer service!

Katie Deither
The thing I enjoy most about Sierra Oak is all the people are so easy to talk to! They keep me informed by educating me about different coverage options, terms, and discounts. I use them for my company and when we have an audit, they explain all the reports in an easy to understand way, and also send me anything I need. They’re always right on top of things and never miss a beat.

Cheryl Bridgewater
They know you when you call they know about you, direct contact feel like a person and not another number. I am confident in what they offer, they keep me informed and keep shopping for better rates…the people easy to talk to, they educate me on terms and we have an audit and explain reports and send me anything I need.

Carla Neiswender, Saputo Construction