What is a Builders Risk Coverage Form 

A builders risk coverage form is an insurance policy which covers residential and commercial structures while they are under construction or being remodeled or renovated. The policy appears on a reporting or completed value form, as there is no standard form or contract to fill out.

Covered building components include foundations, fixtures, machinery, equipment used to service the building, building materials and supplies and debris removal in the event of a loss. Most policies will not include land, landscaping, satellites or antennas, construction materials in transit, scaffolding, construction trailers, and theft of supplies from the job site. However, it may be possible to obtain additional coverage for excluded items at increased premiums.

A builders risk coverage form is also called a builders risk policy.


Builders Risk Coverage Form 

​​​​​​​A builders risk coverage form will include hazards to the building structure, machinery, equipment, and materials and supplies, but it is unlikely to cover injuries or accidents on the job site.

Insurance agents may complete the policy using a reporting form, a completed value form, or an inland marine coverage form. Agents may writer builders risk coverage in two different ways. The first is a policy which covers specifically listed losses. The second is a policy which includes everything other than specifically excluded items. For an additional premium, policyholders may add some of the excluded items.


As with most insurance, the policy will not insure against acts of war, government seizure, and nuclear hazards. Also excluded are extreme weather events, earthquakes, flood, and mudslides.

The limit of coverage allowed is the value of the completed project. Purchasing of the policy must happen when the project is less than 30% complete and will list a level of completion when coverage automatically ends. Other events which will trigger an early end to coverage include:

•The owner takes possession of the property

•After a specific number of days of occupancy

•Abandonment of the project

•If the project is idle for 60 days

•When 90 days have passed since the completion of construction


Some providers may allow a policy to cover delays in construction if those delays are due to suffering an event of a covered casualty. Also, this type of policy often requires builders to have a minimum amount of experience.

Owner Purchase of Builders Risk Coverage Form 


The named insured may be the property's contractor or a developer, but in most cases, it is the building owner or homeowner. It is considered best practice to have the policyholder be the owner of the property. If a loss occurs requiring a claim, the property owner will make a claim. The owner will reimburse the builder for damages. In theory, if a builder held the policy and filed a claim, they could abscond with the claim money, leaving the property owner at a loss.

In many cases, the items which fall under builders risk coverage also are part of a standard owner’s property insurance policy.  Some property policies will limit the number of days an owner may vacate their home and still receive coverage. Renovations may also void the coverage depending on their extent.

Most insurance providers will not underwrite a building if it is not complete. In this case, a builder’s risk coverage form is the best insurance option.

Builder's risk insurance is a special type of property insurance which indemnifies against damage to buildings while they are under construction.[1] Builder's risk insurance is "coverage that protects a person's or organization's insurable interest in materials, fixtures and/or equipment being used in the construction or renovation of a building or structure should those items sustain physical loss or damage from a covered cause."[2]


Buildings are subject to many different risks while under construction. They may catch fire, be damaged by high winds, or fall victim to other force majeure. A principle of common law is that any new construction or other improvement to land becomes property of the owner of the land - the title holder - once there has been an "improvement" to the owner's site. Builder's risk insurance indemnifies against some of these losses.




Builder's risk covers perils such as fire, wind, theft and vandalism and many more. It typically does not cover perils such as earthquake, flood or hurricane damage unless the policy has been specifically endorsed to do so.[3] However, earthquake riders can be very economical, depending on where your project is located and should be considered. These policies also do not cover accidents and injuries at the workplace.[4] and is intended to terminate when the work has been completed and the property is ready for use or occupancy. If you are going to properly setup your policy, coverage should be effective prior to when the materials are delivered to the job site. Coverage ends upon the earlier of closing of the sale, occupancy or the policy expiration date. After builder risk coverage expires, due to sale or occupancy, the new owner should take out permanent property insurance on the building such as a home owner's policy or a commercial property policy.

Insurance costs generally run between one and four percent of the construction cost, depending upon the type of insurance purchased and exclusions from coverage.[5]


Who Buys Builder's Risk Insurance?

Coverage is often purchased by the custom builder or general contractor and may also be purchased by the property owner. Builder's risk coverage may be necessary to show proof of insurance to comply with local city, county, and state building codes and is often required as a condition to many contracts. However, many architects believe that it is the property owner who should have the builder's risk policy, because they have already paid for the improvements to their land, and if the builder receives the funds directly from a claim, theoretically, he/she could abscond with that benefit. It is far safer for the property owner to obtain the builder's risk policy, because they already own the building, even while it is under construction. If something happens to the under-construction project, then they should be the beneficiary and control how it is spent. Yes, the builder ends up receiving the funds in the end, to rebuild damage, but this method gives the control of the insurance benefit to the owner.

Marie V. Berkey Insurance Agency, Inc.

 Independent Insurance Agency

21151 S. Western Ave., Suite 240

Torrance, CA  90501

Main Line:  310-421-9698

E-Fax:  310-388-0835  |  Cell:  310-383-1106

Lic. Nos.:  0G44971 & 0E01867

Email:  mberkey@mvbinsagency.com

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