Do You Need Builder’s Risk Insurance for Renovations? #1

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You might be wondering if you need builder’s risk insurance before you start your renovations.

I tell you, renovations carry with it a lot of unexpected expenses. Therefore, builder’s risk insurance is available to you to help take part in the financial costs in case a renovative accident occurs.

You do not need to worry anymore! We will help mitigate your worries by guiding you through the construction uncertainties, factors that determine if you need builder’s risk insurance for renovation and many more…

Let’s start by talking about the Builder’s Risk Insurance itself.

Your Renovations Is Secured!

Do You Need Builder’s Risk Insurance For Renovation?

Yes, you’ll need builder’s risk insurance if you’re carrying out a “major renovation project”. This is because it protects not just the shiny new fixtures and fancy flooring, but also the walls, roof, framework, and all the delicious construction materials piled up like building blocks for your dream home space.

Firstly, let’s understand what builder’s risk insurance is all about before we understand the coverage details.

What is Builder’s Risk Insurance?

Builder’s risk insurance guards against unforeseen circumstances during your remodeling house project. This insurance covers the actual construction period and the processes of renovation.

It shields your new home from the foundation to the fancy new faucet against Fire, weather, vandalism, and other negative occurrence during construction. BRI also covers waste removal and loss of income as a result of an accident. It fosters a peaceful and settled mind during renovation or construction.

Understanding The Coverage Details Of Builder’s Risk Insurance:

Here are 5 major coverage details for builder’s risk insurance:

  •  Covered Property
  • Covered Perils
  • Debris Removal
  • Additional Living Expenses, and
  • Soft Cost

1. Covered Property:  

This outlines what the insurance protects during construction. It typically includes the building itself under construction, materials, and supplies stored on-site, and sometimes even property in transit to the project site.

2. Covered Perils:

This specifies the events or disasters that trigger coverage. Common covered perils include fire, lightning, theft, vandalism, windstorm, hail, and explosions.

3. Debris Removal:

Builder’s risk insurance often covers the cost of removing debris(waste) caused by a covered peril. This can be a significant expense, especially after a major event.

4. Additional Living Expenses (ALE):

This applies if your property becomes uninhabitable due to a covered peril during renovations. Some builder’s risk policies may cover additional living expenses, such as hotel stays or temporary rentals.

5. Soft Costs:

These are financial losses arising from a covered peril that goes beyond just physical damage. Builder’s risk insurance may cover additional expenses incurred due to a delay caused by a covered event, such as lost rent (for income properties) or additional interest on construction loans.

Do You Need Builder's Risk Insurance for Renovations?
Yes, you’ll need builder’s risk insurance if you’re carrying out a “major renovation project”.

7 Renovation Risk Mitigated By Builder’s Risk Insurance

Renovations are exciting, but they also come with inherent risks. Builder’s risk insurance helps safeguard your project from these potential setbacks.

Builder’s risk insurance covers your renovation project from the following:

  • Weather conditions
  • Fire outbreaks
  • Theft and vandalism
  • Accidental damage
  • Water damage
  • Subcontractor issues
  • Loss of rent

1. Weather Conditions:

Builder’s risk insurance safeguards your building project from the wrath of hurricanes to the fury of blizzards. Doing this reduces your financial responsibility regarding renovation damages.

2. Fire Outbreaks:

Whether it’s an accidental spark or a deliberate act of arson, builder’s risk insurance puts out the flames before they consume your new home.

3. Thefts and Vandalism

Builders risk insurance guards your renovation projects against those who threaten the integrity of your project.

4. Accidental Damage:

Mistakes happen. A dropped tool could damage existing structures or new materials. Builder’s risk helps cover the cost of repairs due to accidental property damage during renovations.

5. Water Damage:

Leaky pipes, burst hoses, or even heavy rain can cause significant water damage during renovations. Builder’s risk insurance can help cover the repairs needed to get things back on track.

6. Subcontractor Issues:

If a subcontractor makes a mistake or goes out of business before completing their work, you could be left with a financial burden. Some builder’s risk policies offer coverage for incomplete work by insured subcontractors.

7. Loss of Rent (for income properties):

If your renovation project on a rental property is interrupted due to a covered peril, the builder’s risk can help compensate for lost rental income during the repair period (depending on the policy).

Factors That Decide Your Need For Builder’s Risk Insurance in Renovations:

Below are some of the factors that determine whether you’ll need builder’s risk insurance during your renovation projects:

#1. Renovation Scope:

If you are doing minor cosmetic updates, the Builder’s risk coverage might be less crucial. But for major remodels involving structural changes, exposed frameworks, and expensive materials, you will need a builder’s risk insurance aside from your standard homeowner insurance to be safeguarded against renovation disasters.

#2. Existing Coverage:

Check your existing property insurance policy. Does it cover renovations, or are there exclusions for ongoing construction? You should know that some policies offer temporary extensions, but the extent and limitations vary.

Builders risk covers those gaps by ensuring comprehensive protection during the vulnerable construction phase.

#3. Financial Vulnerability:

Can you absorb the financial blow of a major loss during your renovation? Replacing damaged or stolen materials, repairing fire-ravaged walls, or dealing with unforeseen structural issues can drain your wallet faster than a leaky faucet. Builder’s risk insurance protects you against financial meltdowns.

Different Types Of Renovation That Mandate Coverage:

Not all renovations necessarily require builder’s risk insurance. However, there are situations where the potential risks are high enough that coverage is strongly recommended.

Here are the types of renovation that will mandate builder’s risk coverage:

  • Major structural changes
  • Extensive demolition
  • Vacant property
  • High-value materials
  • Tight time-frames

1. Major Structural Changes:

Renovations that involve significant structural changes, like adding a second story, removing load-bearing walls, or installing a new roof, pose a higher risk of damage to the existing structure or injury to workers. Builder’s risk helps protect against unforeseen events that could derail the project financially.

2. Extensive Demolition:

Projects involving extensive demolition work, particularly interior gutting, create a higher risk of accidental damage to plumbing, electrical systems, or even hidden structural issues. Builder’s risk can provide peace of mind if unexpected problems arise during demolition.

3. Vacant Property:

If your renovation involves a vacant property, it’s even more susceptible to vandalism or theft. Builder’s risk insurance helps cover the cost of replacing stolen materials or repairing damage caused by vandalism.

4. High-Value Materials:

Renovations that use expensive materials like marble countertops, custom cabinets, or high-end appliances benefit from the builder’s risk coverage. This insurance can reimburse you for replacing these items if they are damaged or stolen during construction. 

5. Tight Timeframes:

Projects with tight deadlines are more vulnerable to delays caused by unforeseen events. Builder’s risk insurance can help cover some of the additional costs incurred if a covered peril (like a storm or fire) disrupts the construction schedule.

Tips and Tricks for Maximizing Coverage and Minimizing Risk in Your Renovation

Here are some expert tips for maximizing coverage and minimizing risk during your renovation journey:

1. Coverage Optimization:

  • Work with your insurance agent to customize a builder’s risk policy that precisely fits your project’s scope, timeline, and materials.
  • Make sure you pay close attention to policy exclusions to identify potential gaps in coverage and address them through amendments or additional alternatives.
  • Explore optional coverages like debris removal, theft of construction materials, or temporary living expenses in case of displacement.

2. Risk Mitigation Strategies:

  • Conduct a thorough inspection of your existing structure, plumbing, and electrical systems to identify and address potential hazards before renovation begins.
  • Choose licensed and insured contractors with a proven track record of safety and responsible work practices.
  • Ensure all agreements with contractors are documented in writing and obtain necessary permits for electrical, plumbing, and structural changes.

3. Expert Advice:

  • Don’t underestimate potential losses! Even minor incidents can significantly impact your budget and timeline. Do well to consider the financial and emotional burden of unforeseen events.
  • Leave specialized work to qualified professionals with appropriate insurance coverage to minimize the risk of accidents or mistakes. Don’t DIY (Do-It-Yourself).
  • Factor in potential delays due to weather, material shortages, or unforeseen complications.  
  • While preparation is key, don’t lose sight of the excitement and joy of creating your dream home. Celebrate the progress, learn from unexpected twists, and embrace the transformative journey!

Companies That Offer Builder’s Risk Insurance:

Frequently Asked Questions

[sc_fs_multi_faq headline-0=”h3″ question-0=”Do I always need builder’s risk insurance for any renovation?” answer-0=”Not necessarily. If you’re doing minor cosmetic updates, your existing homeowner’s insurance might cover you. However, for major renovations with exposed structures, high-value materials, or complex timelines, builder’s risk is highly recommended.” image-0=”” headline-1=”h3″ question-1=”What types of renovations need builder’s risk insurance?” answer-1=”Major structural overhauls, projects with exposed elements and expensive materials, long and complex renovations, and those with increased liability (like adding a pool) should have the builder’s risk coverage.” image-1=”” headline-2=”h3″ question-2=”What does builder’s risk insurance actually cover?” answer-2=”It protects a wide range of potential disasters during your renovation, including fire, theft, weather events, material damage, structural issues, and even extended project delays. It can also offer liability coverage in case someone gets injured during construction.” image-2=”” headline-3=”h3″ question-3=”How much does a builder’s risk insurance cost?” answer-3=”The cost typically ranges from 1-3% of the total construction cost. While it might seem like an extra expense, You have to consider it a small investment compared to the potential financial losses in case of disaster.” image-3=”” headline-4=”h3″ question-4=”Where can I get builder’s risk insurance?” answer-4=”Most traditional insurance companies and insurance brokers offer builder’s risk policies. Talk to your trusted insurance professional to assess your needs and find the best policy for your specific renovation project.” image-4=”” count=”5″ html=”true” css_class=””]

Important Recommendations


You do need to have a builder’s risk insurance before you venture into renovations. It not only protects you against renovation damages it brings your new home dreams to reality.

We are here to guide you if you need more information on insurance matters!

Let’s go carve that new home!

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