Builders Risk: Protecting Against Construction Fires

Builders Risk insurance is a must for anyone undertaking new construction, building an addition or undergoing renovations. It’s easy to see why, considering scenarios like this:

A worker removing paint with a heat gun ignited an underlayment of the surface being stripped in a 150-year old church. The result was a $4 million loss and a three month delay in finishing the project. In another case, an air bubble in the fuel line of a gasoline-powered pressure washer led to a spill which ignited causing severe burns for the worker and $450,000 in property damage.

“Without coverage, there is no recourse,” says Chris Barnes, senior vice president at Dallas-based LevelFirst. “Fires are a major concern.”

Most often contractors obtain coverage, but Barnes says in some cases property owners will purchase policies. In Texas, Barnes says coverage for frame construction can be hard to find. Coverage for additions can also be difficult because the policy also needs to cover the existing construction.

“If there’s a fire in the addition and it destroys the existing property, that needs to be covered,” Barnes says.

Planning to prevent catastrophe is a necessary component to purchasing Builders Risk coverage. Fires are preventable. Developing and maintaining an effective prevention program on the jobsite that encompasses all phases of construction, repair, alteration and demolition work can go a long way in minimizing risks from fire hazards.

LevelFirst, an IIAT company, offers extensive market capabilities with comprehensive coverage for residential and commercial Builders Risk, including access to markets for frame construction. Call Chris Barnes at 512.279.4708 or e-mail to find out more. Additional information on preventing fires during construction and renovation is available from the National Fire Prevention Association.