having building works done by a contractor? Then best check your buildings insurance cover. Most policies contain a clause like this one –
CONTRACTORS EXCLUSION CLAUSE
This insurance excludes loss, damage or liability arising out of the activities of contractors
So that means that if you’re building an extension and your contractor damages next doors house or property you cannot claim from your insurance and would need to make a claim against the contractor.
That‘s straightforward enough but what if the contractor goes bust? and your neighbour makes a claim against you? Yep, you could be liable with no insurance cover.
Lets take a case where the work is covered by a Party Wall Award drawn up under the Party Wall etc Act 1996. That places a direct liability between the building owner (doing the work) and the adjoining owner for an damage arising.
So you build an extension, there’s a party wall award in place and there’s damage next door. The liability rests directly with you and unless any insurance provision has been made you will NOT be covered. Never mind you think its was the contractors fault, he can pay. Well, can he? In the worst case you will have to sue him or, once again if he goes bust you will be left holding the baby so to speak.
All is not lost though, you can arrange particular cover for this risk and for negligent and no negligent actions by a contractor. you should check your policy AND speak to your insurance broker BEFORE you start works.
Providing Party Wall Advice & Expertise in London & the South East
Regulated By RICS
call – 020 8295 1200