As one of the thousands of construction industry workers in Canberra, you may be called upon to work across all manner of projects. From a single home build in Whitlam through to the development of a multi-storey facility on the Kingston Foreshore, our nation’s capital is awash with projects on the go.
While some may be larger than others, the average construction project will have quite literally hundreds of moving parts. From raw materials in and old materials out, each stage of a project timeline is fraught with risk. However, the risk does not end there. Often, consequences of a few erroneous plans are not discovered until much further down the track.
And when it strikes it can be a litigious disaster. There are questions around how, when, and why. Even more around liability. Then the matter of resolution. Whether you are a builder, engineer, trade, or contractor, you will surely agree that this is a risk worth mitigating.
That is where construction, or contract works, insurance comes into play. Construction insurance protects the liability of builders and any damage caused therein. With an array of policy types, structured in various forms, with numerous inclusions, and added options, it is quite complex. And, for trades who are contracted to assist in the completion of projects, there is trades insurance. In addition to protecting against liability and damage, trade insurance also seeks to cover things like tools of the trade.
Whether you are a builder overseeing a project or a contracted trade, understanding the options available can be challenging. And, as so much rests on the effectiveness of a construction or trade insurance policy, selecting the right one is crucial.
For those of you in need of some helping hands you have come to the right place. We have rounded up the best construction and trades insurance brokers that our region has to offer. As specialised brokers, they have an innate knowledge of the construction industry, and all subsets within.
They understand the nature of work, scale of projects, and needs of clients. Importantly, they are a valuable tool in your professional services arsenal that allows you to focus on running your business. So where to find the best construction and trade insurance brokers in Canberra? Read on below.
What makes a great construction and trades insurance broker?
When the stakes are high, the best construction and trades insurance brokers provide assurance. They skilfully secure the optimum policies; seek to lower premiums while keeping coverage current; and masterfully negotiate claims. Here are a few factors that may help you evaluate potential construction and trades insurance brokers:
- Qualified & experienced. As with all financial services, qualifications and experience are key. All insurance brokers must hold an Australian Financial Services Licence and be either a Qualified Practicing Insurance Broker (QPIB) or Certified Insurance Professional (CIP). Ideally, your broker should also be diploma qualified. Moreover, look for memberships with professional bodies, such as peak industry body the National Insurance Brokers Association.
- Local construction industry experts. Due to the sheer scale and risk associated with the construction industry, insurance policies in this are inherently more complex. Without the right insider knowledge, assessing requirements and knowing which risks to insure can be difficult. The best commercial and trades insurance brokers apply local construction expertise to navigate clients through this entire process. In doing so, they extract a firm understanding of each client, their nature of work, and any unique requirements. They also provide advice on the appropriate level of cover to ensure protection, along with optional extras that are worth considering. After all, your insurance needs may span beyond construction alone. The range of products available are vast as they are complex from contract works to public liability; tools to motor and trailers; through to workers compensation and professional indemnity. Given the long-lasting implications of erroneous projects, they clearly outline policy differences, and associated implications. So, consider your individual needs and look for a broker with local construction expertise.
- Seasoned negotiators. Construction is big business and submitting and settling claims requires some serious experience. The best construction insurance brokers are also seasoned negotiators, who know how to get the job done. They have years of experience in claims management with insider knowledge of how to get it done. That is why seeking a seasoned negotiator is so important. Their role in handling end-to-end insurance claims is invaluable. Moreover, locally based contacts and associated businesses come in handy while assessing and resolving claims. Not only will they save you precious time and money, they will ensure your interests are protected.
- Well-connected. When it comes to construction insurance there are literally hundreds of insurers offering a multitude of policies and extras. Indeed, any one insurance policy can have several variations dependent on the channel of purchase. So, to keep your options open look for a broker with buying power specific to your needs. Consider those with access to national and international networks, along with those who can deliver solutions to challenging scenarios. Moreover, enquire with those who have access to exclusive rates as this increases chances of securing cost-effective policies.
- Heavy lifters. Sourcing and securing great policies are one thing; knowing what to do in the event of a claim is another. Anyone who has dabbled in the fallout of a construction dispute will know just how draining it can be. Resolving via insurance is no mean feat, and it takes tenacity, serious negotiating prowess, and industry know-how to execute. That is why finding a construction and trade insurance broker that does the heavy lifting is so important. They effectively simplify the claims management process, alleviating some time – and pressure – from your hands. While reviewing brokers, ensure you have a thorough understanding of the claims management services offered.
The best construction and trades insurance brokers in Canberra
RiotACT’s editorial team has combed through 20 years of on-site comments to compile a list of the most recommended businesses according to you.
To be listed in our Best of Canberra series, each business needs to have consistently received positive feedback on RiotACT and Facebook as well as maintaining a minimum average of 4/5 stars on Google.
For comprehensive construction insurance options and tailored advice that mitigates risk look no further than locally owned and operated allinsure. Since their establishment in 2007, allinsure have focussed on delivering superior client service and fostering strong, long-term relationships. Their client-first culture has propelled them to the forefront of the industry, gaining recognition on a national scale.
In the 2021 Insurance Business Awards, allinsure were the proud recipients of four category awards and three excellence awards; including Australian Brokerage of the Year and Broker of the Year awards. Director, Peter Chamberlain, was also featured in Insurance Business Magazines 2021 Hot List.
As a corporate authorised representative of Insurance Advisernet; one of Australia’s largest networks of independent insurance advisers; allinsure maintain their local ownership and presence, whilst leveraging buying power and product access.
One of allinsure’s largest areas of industry specialisation is construction. Boasting years of client experience with an array of projects large and small; they have considerable expertise in the management of construction risk.
The team have orchestrated favourable relationships with the industry’s major insurers, resulting in competitively priced options that offer tailored cover for clients. Options include protecting people through to equipment, along with professional and public liability.
Their support extends to contract reviews, identifying indemnities, and warranties, along with claims management. For comprehensive construction and trades insurance allinsure are an excellent choice.
Brad Hunt had this to say about allinsure on Facebook, “Great people, great service. Loved these guys, walked me through everything and made the whole process very easy. So professional, if you need insurance, these are the guys to go to.”
Mitchell Insurance Management are specialist business and commercial insurance, supporting a range of varied industries and forms of business activities. When it comes to trades, building, and construction insurance, they understand that managing risk is a priority.
The team at Mitchell Insurance Management work to tailor each insurance program with leading providers specific to client industry and needs. With a focus on protecting business activities and assets they are well placed to assist with any kind of project; from single house builds to multi-storey commercial premises and more.
Collin D shared this great review on Google, “I have used MIM for my business insurances for the past few years. A great service all around with fantastic correspondence and have always provided very competitive prices.”
With a brokerage history that spans four decades, the MGA Insurance Group have built an enviable reputation across Australia. Here in Canberra, their team offers solutions that cover loss or damage to construction projects and can include public liability, on site materials, and tools.
MGA believe claim outcomes are invariably tied to the quality of the products offered, subsequently placing emphasis on product selection. Whether you are an established builder, owner builder, trade or contractor, MGA can provide advice, recommendations, and options for your next project.
Scott Bolton shared his experience on Google, “I have found the team very good as they explain not only what is required in business insurance requirements and compliance needs.
They actually go further into ensuring I understand the cover and potential exposure as a small businessperson, I am just not across the ever-changing environment….”
While on the topic of insurance brokers, you might also like our articles on the best insurance brokers, the best business insurance brokers, the best workers compensation insurance brokers and the best strata insurance brokers in Canberra.
Your experience with construction and trades insurance brokers in Canberra
Thanks to our commenters who have provided insightful feedback. If you believe we have got it wrong, please let us know.
Have you had experience with any of the construction and trades insurance brokers listed above? If so, share your feedback in the comments below.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is construction insurance?
In a nutshell, construction or contract works insurance is an essential form of protection designed to protect builders and ensure that both assets and liability are appropriately insured. Most construction insurance policies cover two areas; liability claims and damage to physical materials. In addition to personal injury and legal fees, these policies often cover instances of fire, theft, malicious or accidental damage, and weather events. Depending on the nature of works scheduled, additional insurance policies may also be needed to mitigate risk in areas not typically covered by construction insurance policies.
What other types of insurance may be required for construction?
Depending on the nature of works and type of contractors employed, additional insurance policies may be useful for builders during construction. These policies can cover extensions like workers compensation, delay in start-up, liquidated damages, advanced consequential loss, advanced loss of profits, difference in conditions, excess buy-down and design exclusion drop down to name but a few! To discuss your individual needs a construction insurance broker is a great avenue to start.
What is the difference between construction and trades insurance?
While construction insurance is designed to offer protection for builders, trades or tradies insurance is designed to protect contractors and subcontractors. Trades insurance protects carpenters, electricians, plumbers, and other trade professionals from liability and material damage that occurs during, and after works have been completed. Additional policies can also be taken to cover essential tools of the trade including tools, plant or machinery, and electrical equipment.
What is the difference between a single project and an annual turnover policy?
When it comes to construction or contract works insurance, policies are generally available in two forms. First is a single project policy, which provides cover for a specific project. Second, is an annual turnover policy, which covers all projects undertaken during the insured period. To assess which cover is right for you contact your local construction insurance broker.
What is a ‘transfer’ or ‘run-off’ policy?
In Australia it is standard practice to provide two options for annual construction insurance policies. These options are referred to as transfer or turnover policies and run-off policies. Transfer policies insure all projects undertaken during the policy period, including the defects liability period, if applicable. Run-off policies on the other hand cover projects commencing during the policy period. Cover typically continues until the construction has ended and if applicable, includes the period of defects liability, even if this is after the policy period has expired. Understanding the differences between the two is vital, so consult your construction insurance broker to discuss your needs.