Self-building your own home may be your dream coming true. But if your land isn’t adequately insured before the build it could become a nightmare. Find out more about why you need land insurance with our essential guide for self-builders.
What is land insurance?
We’re all familiar with the idea of insuring our home to protect the structure and contents. But if you just own a piece of land with no building yet, you don’t need insurance right? Well no actually, that’s wrong. If you are planning a self-build project you’ll need to consider insuring the land where your new home will be built. Called land insurance, or property owners insurance, this type of public liability insurance will cover you if anyone goes onto the land and either causes damage to it or injures themselves.
Why do I need land insurance for my self-build project?
- A member of the public hurts themselves on your land
The Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 gives “freedom” to roam on some privately owned land. If a member of the public slips, trips or hurts themselves on your land they can make a claim against you for compensation. You can even be held liable if an injury is sustained by someone who is trespassing illegally on your land and they can prove that you didn’t take due care to avoid an injury occurring. This could include injury caused if you leave something sharp or toxic lying around on your land. In our ‘no-win no-fee’ compensation culture, these claims are all too frequent.
- Your land is accessed by a private road
Anyone using this road could make a claim against you for damage, such as damage to a vehicle caused by a pothole.
- There are trees or is woodland on your land, especially if it is near a public footpath or road
If a tree on your land, or branch, falls and hurts someone you could be held liable for the injury. As these injuries can be serious, compensation levels can be very high.
When you take out land insurance for your self-building project you can be reassured that your legal fees will be covered if something does happen.
Other insurance products to consider if you’re self-building
Liability insurance is not the only type of insurance to consider if you have a self-build plot. An expert insurance broker, like Park Insurance, can tailor-make your policy to cover other insurance products that you may need. These could include:
- Employer’s liability insurance if you have any employees working on your site. Find out more about your legal obligations here
- Materials damage cover for non-residential features, like walls, gates, ponds or even street lighting
- Site insurance to cover the building during construction from things like storm damage. It can also cover tools from theft or damage as well as any huts or caravans you may use on site
- Insurance in case of any damage being caused to surrounding property as a result of your build. This could include collapse or subsidence, or changes to water supply, caused by something to do with your self-build project
- A warranty insurance is also available for self-builders. This covers the costs of any repairs required if a major defect to the build is discovered in the first 10 years. It gives you peace of mind that you can afford to put problems right. And it can also cover the cost of legal fees if you need to sue a contractor, such as the designer
When do I need to take out land insurance?
For the best protection, take out your land insurance policy as soon as you purchase the land.
Where can I buy good value land insurance?
Like all insurance, skimping now could cost you a lot more in the long run. But it’s worth shopping around with several insurance companies to make sure you’re getting the best price on your land insurance. If you don’t have the time to ring around, or don’t know where to start looking, call Park Insurance on 0117 9556835 or get a quote . We’re independent insurance brokers, so we’re free to shop around with the UK’s leading insurance companies. This means we can negotiate great prices on your behalf. We understand the specific needs of self-builders and land owners. We can advise you on the levels of cover available. And you can relax knowing we have 30 years’ experience sourcing good value insurance cover that our customers can count on.