As a property owner (whether you are living in a property or renting it out), you are at risk of being sued by a member of public for causing them injury/damage, for example;
Someone comes to your home and whilst knocking on the door, a tile falls of the roof and hits their head causing them bodily injury.
As the property owner, you are liable to pay damages to this claimant. Under residential properties, which you are the owner and occupier, this is referred to as public liability and covers you as an individual both in your home and elsewhere.
In the instance of being a property owner undertaking renovations on your home it is especially important to have property owner’s liability. This provides cover for you and your home should something occur to anyone on site – and during works there are often lots of people coming in and out so there is increased risk. Often insurers will limit liability cover during renovations if you stay with a standard insurer. If you go onto a renovations specific policy then full Property Owners cover is provided and there are three possible options depending on how involved you are with the project:
1) Property Owners Liability Only – this is when you have no involvement in the project management function and are not directly employing anyone
2) Full Project Public Liability Only – this Is when you do have a project management function of Professional Project Manager but is not directly employing any Labour Only Sub-Contractors (LOSC’s). In this situation, bona-fide sub-contractors only are being used to carry out the works and these employees are covered by their Employers Liability policy.
3) Full Project Public Liability and Employers Liability – this is when you are project managing and/or directly employing (LOSC’s). Even if you are not project managing, if LOSC’s are being directly employed then this level of cover must be taken out.
Ensuring that you have the correct and most appropriate level of cover for your project is important. By having a project management function – which includes day to day site management and/or day to day management of contractors on site and/or responsibility for Health and Safety on site – this exposes you to a greater risk. If the third option is the most applicable then insurers will need to know further questions such as the breakdown of usage of contractors and previous project management experience.
If you have any doubts about the correct level of cover that you should have for your project then we would always recommend taking out increased levels – with liability, it’s better to be safe than sorry!