Comprehensive Guide to Builders' Risk Insurance: Coverage, Costs, and Benefits

Comprehensive Guide to Builders' Risk Insurance Coverage, Costs, and Benefits


Embarking on a construction project requires careful planning, and one of the most crucial aspects to consider is protecting your investment. Builders’ risk insurance is designed specifically for this purpose, safeguarding your project from a wide range of potential risks and damages. Whether you’re constructing a new building or undertaking a renovation, having the right insurance coverage in place is essential to the success of your project. In this article, we will explore the key features of builders’ risk insurance, its benefits, and how to choose the most suitable policy for your construction needs.

The importance of builders’ risk insurance cannot be overstated, as it provides coverage for various perils, including property damage, theft, and natural disasters. This specialized insurance is an indispensable component of any construction project, ensuring that your financial interests are well-protected. To help you navigate the complex world of construction insurance, we have compiled a comprehensive guide that delves into the various aspects of builders’ risk insurance, from understanding its importance to knowing when and how to purchase it, ensuring you have the necessary protection for your project.

Understanding the Importance of Builders’ Risk Insurance for Construction Projects

Builders’ risk insurance, also known as inland marine coverage or course of construction, is a policy that insures structures while they are under construction. 

In addition to the standard coverage offered in a builders’ risk policy, optional endorsements are available to custom tailor coverage for a specific project. Builders’ risk policies are often required by lenders to satisfy banking requirements or to comply with government regulations.

While builders’ risk insurance covers the building structure during renovations, it is important to note that it will not provide any coverage for any slip and fall accidents, workplace injuries, or liability coverage. These coverages can be obtained under a separate insurance policy known as Premises Liability.

Key Components of Comprehensive Builders’ Risk Insurance Coverage

While each insurance carrier may offer different coverages under the builders’ risk policy form, most of the policies will cover the following perils: 

  • Property damage
  • Theft
  • Vandalism
  • Materials in Transit
  • Debris Removal
  • Fire or lightning
  • Arson
  • Collapse
  • Windstorm or Hail
  • Sewers, drain, or sump back-up

Some optional, but recommended coverages that may be offered include:

  • Soft costs – expenses not associated with building materials or labor for the actual structure, but costs that may need to be repaid in the event of a covered loss. Some examples of soft costs would be:
    • Engineer, Architect, and Consultant Fees
    • Permit and Licensing Fees
    • Advertising and promotional expenses
    • Interest on construction loans 
    • Legal and Accounting fees
  • Change order endorsement – change orders are most commonly seen during residential construction projects as homeowners tend to request changes more frequently than commercial clients. Each time a change is requested, the change order must be reported to the insurance company to increase the value of insurance, ensuring that the new change is fully covered. Unfortunately, this step is frequently missed. By adding this endorsement onto the policy, it allots a 10%, 20% or 30% variance in the policy limit to cover any change orders that were not disclosed to the carrier in the event of a claim.

Identifying Who Needs Builders’ Risk Insurance: From Property Owners to Contractors

Any entity or individual with a financial interest in a completed course of construction project, whether it’s a personal or commercial project, is eligible to purchase a builders’ risk insurance policy.

These consumers include:

  1. Project Builders
  2. Property Owners
  3. Retail Companies
  4. School Districts
  5. General Contractors
  6. Sub Contractors
  7. House Flippers

The Right Time to Purchase Course of Construction Insurance

Builders’ Risk insurance should be purchased effective the date the project is scheduled to begin. To prevent delays, the contractor or client should reach out to their insurance agent at least a week prior to this date, preferably two weeks ahead, to ensure all necessary paperwork, construction budgets, soil reports, etc are submitted and approved.

Once reviewed and approved, most policies have a same-day issuance, which allows the contractor to obtain proof of insurance that day to get on the jobsite immediately. Here at Contractors Solutions Insurance Agency, Inc, we offer an online payment portal for contractors to quickly remit payment for the policy, where we can then have the certificate of insurance turned around in less than an hour.

It is important to note that builders’ risk insurance should always be purchased prior to construction beginning, as many carriers will decline to cover the project after construction has already begun.

Factors Affecting the Cost of Insurance for Contractors and Construction Projects

There are several factors that impact the cost of builders’ risk insurance, including but not limited to:

  • Construction plans: New ground-up, remodel, restructure, etc
  • Location of project
  • Square footage
  • Project Cost
  • Optional coverage selected
  • Fees and Taxes

Minimum pricing typically starts around $425 and increases from there dependent on the factors above.

Exploring the Types of Construction Projects Covered by Residential and Commercial Construction Insurance

Builders’ risk insurance policies typically cover the following three construction segments for both residential and commercial structures:

  1. New Construction: this is ground up construction of any building whether it be a single family home, office building, ADU, or restaurant. 
  2. Remodels: structural or non-structural remodels are covered and the client can opt to include or exclude the existing structure from the insurance coverage. An example of when an existing structure would be excluded from coverage is if there is already a homeowner’s insurance policy in force and the builders’ risk policy is only needed to cover the renovations.
  3. Installation: scope of work is limited compared to a remodel and typically involves installing a single feature or fixture, such as new flooring, cabinets, an awning, or even outdoor signage for commercial structures.

How to Choose the Best Builders’ Risk Insurance Policy for Your Project

When selecting a builders’ risk insurance policy, consider factors such as the type and scope of the project, the specific perils you need coverage for, and any optional coverages that may be beneficial. Consult with an experienced insurance agent who specializes in construction insurance to help you navigate the available options and choose the best policy for your needs.

Working with Contractor Solutions Insurance Agency, Inc. for Tailored Construction Insurance Policies

Here at Contractor Solutions Insurance Agency, Inc, we specialize in insuring contractors in every capacity. Our team of experts have written hundreds of builders’ risk insurance policies for our clients throughout the years, varying from a simple cabinetry update, to new, ground-up apartment complexes. 

We work with our carriers to negotiate the best rates for our clients and to ensure that you are properly covered for each competent of the project. 

For more information on obtaining a builders’ risk insurance quote, please contact us at:


In conclusion, builders’ risk insurance is a vital component of any construction project, offering much-needed protection against a variety of risks and damages. With the right insurance policy in place, you can focus on successfully completing your project, knowing that your investment is well-protected. As we have discussed, understanding the coverage options, costs, and requirements for this specialized insurance is crucial to making informed decisions and securing the best policy for your needs.

By working with an experienced insurance provider who specializes in construction insurance, you can secure tailored policies that meet your specific needs and ensure the success of your project. Remember, the right builders’ risk insurance policy will not only protect your financial interests but also provide you with peace of mind as you embark on your construction journey. Don’t hesitate to reach us and start exploring the most suitable builders’ risk insurance options for your project today at .

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