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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 Fitts Agency, Inc. 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 Locations

Fitts Agency, Inc.

1806 6th Street
Tuscaloosa, AL 35401
Main office: 205-881-2556
Fax: 205-342-3467

Merchants & Farmers

301 Prairie Ave
Eutaw, AL 35462
Main office: 205-686-6279
Fax: 205-372-0852

Our Providers

Testimonials

The Fitts Agency, Inc. has been taking care of my personal and professional insurance needs for over 25 years. They have done an exceptional job to insure we are properly covered with all aspects of our complicated business insurance needs including property, automobile and equipment, bonding, life insurance, liability and specialty insurance. Their professional service follows through the claim process as well, demonstrated by the spring 2011 Tuscaloosa tornadoes and the damage we received from same. With their extensive help, excellent support staff and prompt response, we were able to get back in business with minimal wasted time. I highly recommend the Fitts Agency, Inc. for your insurance needs.

Thomas D. Jamison - President, J & P Construction Co., Inc.
We are writing this letter to document the performance of the Fitts Agency, Inc. Fitts Agency has been very instrumental in providing for all our business insurance needs. Since 2007, they have seen to our General Liability, Workman's compensation, Auto, Builder's Risk, Professional Liability and Umbrella policies. Their service is excellent; quick and accurate, and always with a friendly, helpful attitude.

Christopher L. Swain - VP Operations, Monumental Contracting Service, LLC
It's so refreshing to have an insurance agency that actually cares about their clients. I was with a "national brand" company for many years and never knew that I could have other great choices for my home and automobile insurance. These folks are great and I would recommend them to anyone wanting great rates and service.

Maggie Miller - Tuscaloosa, AL
Before the sun set on April 27 (after the devastating tornado), Forrest Fitts had a team on our roof surveying the damage. Two days later the debris was completely gone, the sheet rock was replaced - even the landscaping was repaired.

Mark and Liz Obradovich - Owners of Tuscaloosa Holiday Inn Express & Suites
When the April 27th tornado struck my business, the Fitts Agency made sure we were covered. Thank you Tim Donahue and your top-notch staff for doing just that. I could not think of a better team than the Fitts Agency, Watkins Construction Co., Inc. and FCCI Insurance to assist Spiller Furniture with disaster recovery.

Shane Spiller
We favor the Fitts Agency and any of their competitors would truly have an uphill battle to overcome prior to us ever making any notable changes. Specifically to the fact that although we will price multiple sources, we have learned that Tim and his team have been the most helpful and in the long run, equally competitive with anyone we have considered in the past 25+ years.

Mark Rettig - Vice President, AHR Metals, Inc.
Nobody could have taken care of me better than the Fitts Agency after the storm. I've been with the Fitts Agency for over twenty years - home, autos, and my business before I retired. I would never go anywhere else for my insurance.

Ernest Woodruff - Tuscaloosa, AL