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How Contract Works insurance protects builders


When you’re working on a construction job, there’s many moving parts to finishing a project.

As an empty site progresses towards completion or as extensions and renovations develop, there’s different risks to manage at each stage of the build to ensure the job is finished successfully and on time.

“Contract Works insurance cover should look after all phases of a project’s life cycle not just the work that’s underway on construction projects,” says QBE Insurance National Product Manager for Construction, Dale Gleeson.

“It can protect builders, the project owner, subcontractors and the construction site at the tender phase, build phase and whilst awaiting handover post completion.”

What risks can builders face?

Building projects can be expensive, and time and labour consuming so if a builder experiences injury, loss and damage it could have an impact on job profitability and reputation.

These types of unforeseen events can often be out of the builder’s control, according to Gleeson who says weather and worker injury are the two most common insurance claims lodged in the Contract Works area [1].

There are ways to manage these and other risks during different stages of a construction project and ensure the correct protection is in place.

“The tender phase can be exposed to liability risks, for example, injury to a third party whilst conducting onsite discussions or planning,” he explains.

“But the construction phase sees the most active risks where there’s potential for weather damage to work in progress on-site from storm or cyclone. Theft or fire and worker injury or other liabilities such as trip and fall all can be key drivers in claims during this part of the project lifecycle.”

The post-completion stage of a project is often overlooked, Gleeson says. Although insurance is a legal requirement for tenders, he says it’s key to check whether the policy extends beyond the bare minimum build phase.

“An insured’s risk can still remain when a project is finished and awaiting acceptance from the principal or other insurance to come into effect. Our Contract Works insurance covers projects for thirty days after it’s completed.”

Talk to an expert broker

As business insurance experts, brokers can find the policies that best meet your business needs. How do they work? They’re best described as licensed individuals or firms that serve as intermediaries between insurers and business owners to negotiate insurance policy contracts. So how do you find a good one?

How to buy business insurance

Business insurance is bought through brokers. If you don’t have a reliable personal recommendation, the National Insurance Brokers Association (NIBA)* can help you find an accredited broker.

You should ensure you obtain and consider the Product Disclosure Statement for the policy before you make any decision to acquire it. The information on this website has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs.

*The brokers on this site are not employees or agents of QBE, but are independent entities. QBE is not responsible for any advice provided to you by any broker on this site. Any such advice is the responsibility of the broker concerned.


[1] Based on analysis of QBE construction claims data from 2003-2018