Every construction site is an extraordinary source of danger. The client is always responsible for safety on and in front of the property. He must limit the risk on the construction site and take measures to protect other people.
But no matter how hard you try: There is always a residual risk, especially on a construction site. Breakdowns can quickly become expensive here. In an emergency, the client’s existence is at stake – or at least the construction project. The insurers know this too: They have therefore developed special offers for building owners. The most important insurances at a glance:
Liability insurance: First of all, the builder is always liable
If a pedestrian is injured by falling components or if a child falls into an uncovered cellar shaft, this can have serious consequences not only for the victims. Because from the first groundbreaking, the building owner is liable for all damage caused by his construction site. This also applies if roof tiles fall on a parked car or a pedestrian trips over building materials on the sidewalk.
In concrete terms, this means: In such cases, the building owner is always held accountable first, even if he is not primarily responsible for the accident. Claims for damages can quickly run into the hundreds of thousands, the entire construction financing is at risk. In these cases, the builders’ liability insurance applies.
Attention : To ensure that the client does not get into financial distress, the sum insured must be high enough: “At least three, better five million euros”, recommends legal expert Christoph von Klitzing from Bausparkasse Schwäbisch Hall. The insurance is therefore valid from the start of construction until acceptance and usually for two years.
Against rioters and thieves: construction insurance
Chaotic people smash a window, thieves dismantle freshly installed fittings: such unforeseeable damage is covered by construction insurance. “Damage caused by force majeure, design or material defects, negligence and unknown properties of the subsoil are also included,” explains von Klitzing.
Attention : Fire damage is not covered by the construction insurance, this must be insured separately (see residential building insurance).
In case of ice and heavy rain: natural hazard insurance
The natural hazard insurance helps if heavy rain floods the building or triggers a landslide. It also takes effect during floods, hail, storms and damage from snow pressure and earthquakes. “Extreme weather has caused a lot of damage to real estate nationwide in recent years,” warns Klitzing. “Builders should protect themselves against this increasing risk.”
Attention : Fire damage is not covered by the natural hazard insurance, this must be insured separately (see residential building insurance).
Residential building insurance and fire shell insurance
Damage from tap water or fire usually requires homeowner insurance. Depending on the contract, these policies cover the costs of renovation or reconstruction. “Here, clients only insure the building, not the contents,” von Klitzing emphasizes. “In addition, outbuildings and garages must be explicitly insured.”
Homeowners are often protected against fire damage in the building shell caused by fire, lightning strikes or explosions by means of residential building insurance. If they are not also insured, fire shell insurance provides additional protection.
For friends: construction workers accident insurance
Anyone who lets friends and family help out should take out construction worker accident insurance. That goes through the professional association of the construction industry. “The builder has to register the private helpers within a week and pay the insurance contributions,” explains von Klitzing. The contributions are calculated from the hours worked and a fictitious remuneration that varies depending on the federal state. For 100 helper hours, the contribution to construction helper accident insurance is currently around 145 to 160 euros.
Do building consultants and craftsmen have liability insurance?
In the case of building consultants and craftsmen, builders should check in advance whether they already have liability insurance that covers possible damage. In the case of defects that property owners only discover later, building contractors or the responsible craftsmen are obliged to make improvements within the warranty period. This is usually five years, for repairs and minor alterations two years and begins when the service is accepted. “Anyone who notices defects during the construction phase should immediately complain in writing and document them. That makes it easier for builders to enforce their claims, ”says von Klitzing.
Safe through the financing
Builders should not only protect the construction, but also the construction financing from unforeseen events. In order for borrowers to remain solvent, they can secure their financing rate in the event of incapacity for work, unemployment, short-time work or divorce.
In the event of death, residual debt or term life insurance protects the surviving dependents from losing their home. “In order not to have too little or double coverage, builders should seek advice before building a house ,” says the expert. Many insurers already offer the most important insurances in a package.