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    When Should Builder’s Risk Insurance Start?

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    when should builders risk insurance start Canada

    When you’re working on any job site, having the right coverage at the right time is an important part of your risk management. Discover when your builder’s risk insurance policy should start to keep you protected.

    Builder’s risk insurance is coverage that helps protect pretty much any project that’s under construction. It includes both large-scale renovations, as well as new builds that are starting from the ground up. For example, it would cover both the construction of a new skyscraper and a single home’s major kitchen reno.

    Frequently referred to as course of construction insurance, this type of policy offers project-specific property coverage, premises liability, and helps cover any gaps in insurance for structures that are classified as under construction. But only if the coverage begins and ends at the right time.

    Read on to learn when your insurance should start during a construction project.


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    What You Need to Know About Buying Builder’s Risk

    In order to determine when your policy should start, it’s important to answer a few other related questions, including:

    When should you buy builder’s risk insurance?

    Buying builder’s risk insurance for your project should happen before you break ground. This can help avoid any disputes between yourself and your insurance company. It will be very clear that you had coverage prior to construction.

    Purchasing your coverage well before your project begins can also help keep you protected in the event that there is a physical loss or damage prior to the official start of reno or build.

    It’s important to remember that your purchase date isn’t necessarily the same as the start date of your policy period.

    Who should buy the insurance policy?

    There may be more people benefiting from builder’s risk insurance than you realize. In fact, anyone who stands to lose money in the event of costly expenses due to theft, project delays due to damaged equipment, or additional costs due to on-site accidents like a fire should be covered by this type of insurance.

    In other words, those who are financially invested in a construction job should have – or be named in – this type of policy. This includes the:

    • General contractor

    • Construction manager

    • Property owner

    • Project lender

    But with multiple people benefitting from builder’s risk insurance, whose responsibility is it to purchase the policy?

    In many cases, the building owner, general contractor, or construction manager will buy the builder’s risk coverage due to their large financial investment and potential losses. But, ultimately, it will be up to those involved to sort out who will buy the builder’s risk for their project.

    Regardless of who purchases the insurance, however, it’s still a good idea to cover all financially invested parties under one policy to simplify a claim should anything go wrong. This can help to keep everyone protected and prevent disputes between stakeholders.

    Related: Builder’s risk insurance cost

    How long does your insurance coverage last?

    The length of builder’s risk insurance can vary, but coverage typically starts when the project breaks ground and continues until the job is done. Construction is deemed complete only after the owner approves of the finished structure.

    It’s important to note, however, that many policy periods do expire, and you may need to seek an extension if your job goes past your allotted coverage date.

    For example, APOLLO’s Builder’s Risk Insurance is available for up to 24 months, with extensions. You can also choose to backdate the start of your coverage up to 14 days.

    How It’s Different from Trades and Contractor’s Insurance

    If you already have contractor’s insurance for your business, you may be wondering if you need builder’s risk for your construction projects. The answer is yes!

    These two types of insurance operate in very different ways, ensuring that you are completely protected when working on a construction build.

    As mentioned, builder’s risk only lasts during the course of construction and protects the work site and any tools, equipment, or materials that are being used for that project. If you don’t have this type of policy in place, the structure itself may have a gap in coverage while you are working on it. Specifically, it covers:

    • Rental value

    • Additional living expenses

    • Change order coverage

    • Equipment breakdown

    • Sewer backup, flood, and earthquake

    With a trades and contractor’s policy, the coverage looks quite different. It provides commercial general liability insurance that can help protect you in the event of property damage or the accidental injury of a client.

    Protect Your Construction Site with Builder’s Risk Insurance

    Designed for residential and light commercial buildings with wood frame constructions, APOLLO’s Builder’s Risk Insurance offers a policy period up to 24 months and allows backdating up to 14 days.

    Start your online application now, and get covered in minutes.


    APOLLO Has You Covered

    Get the protection you need in minutes with custom Builder’s Risk Insurance from APOLLO.

    Learn More


    Originally published May 30, 2022, updated August 25, 2023

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