101 Guide to Builders Risk Insurance Basics


Builders Risk 101 Guide


What is builders risk insurance?

Builders risk insures a structure while under construction.

Its coverage protects a person’s or organization’s insurable interest in materials, fixtures and / or equipment that will be installed during the construction or renovation of a building or structure if those items sustain physical loss or damage from a covered cause.

The policy is often required to comply with government regulations or as a condition to meet banking or other contractual arrangements. A standalone builders risk policy does not provide coverage for workplace accidents and injuries or liability coverage.

Who pays for builders risk insurance?

Individuals or entities, including contractors, business owners, homeowners, or financial institutions are often your primary builders risk clients.

Depending on the terms of the construction contract, the contractor or project owner will be required to purchase builders risk coverage. The Builders Risk Plan insured by Zurich allows for the policy to be purchased in the name of the owner or builder. Contractors and other parties of interest may also be protected under an additional named insured clause.

Should your client choose to add the builder or owner as an additional named insured, be sure a waiver to subrogate is clearly outlined in the construction contract or agreement. This will protect the interest of the additional named insureds if property damages occur during the course of construction.

When is the right time to purchase builders risk insurance?

Demand for a builders risk policy is often time sensitive.

Most purchases occur before or on the date of construction when the contract is finalized, which means you’ll need to act quickly when a client asks about coverage. With benefits like online policy issuance, responsive service, direct access to a dedicated team of underwriters, and a program insured by a financially stable carrier, US Assure is prepared to secure coverage in a flash.

In some cases, your client might begin construction without securing a builders risk policy. In that instance, you will need to provide the percentage of construction completed during the builders risk application process, in addition to the total completed value. Projects greater than 30 percent complete are still eligible through our program, but will receive additional underwriting review.

What builders risk policies are available?

The US Assure Builders Risk Plan insured by Zurich can accommodate a wide range of clients, including but not limited to:

  • Owners
  • Development companies
  • Builders
  • Investment companies
  • Contractors
  • Retail companies
  • House flippers
  • School districts

In addition, there are four common policy options offered through the US Assure Builder Risk Plan insured by Zurich:

Four common policy options offered through the US Assure Builders Risk Plan insured by Zurich


How to choose the right policy for your client

Whether your client’s construction project is a multimillion-dollar commercial renovation, starter home or roof installation, the US Assure Builders Risk Plan insured by Zurich offers a policy that will meet the very specific needs of the project. In general, construction can be categorized into three projects types: new construction, remodeling or installation. The right policy type and coverage offering will vary based on the buyer and project type.

What builders risk coverages are available?

Fire, wind and theft can be devastating.

However, underinsuring your client’s course of construction project can be even more severe when you consider the potential loss involved for all parties associated with the project.

The US Assure Builders Risk Plan insured by Zurich offers protection for a wide range of named perils including but not limited to:

  • Property Damage
  • Arson
  • Theft
  • Collapse
  • Vandalism
  • Windstorm or hail
  • Fire or lightning


The following additional coverages are also standard to the Zurich builders risk policy. In most cases, your client has the option to purchase increased limits where appropriate and depending on the project type.

  • Materials in transit and at temporary locations
  • Ordinance or Law
  • Back up of sewers, drains, or sumps
  • Pollution clean up
  • Debris removal
  • Scaffolding re-erection
  • Fire department service charge
  • Scaffolding, construction forms, etc.
  • Valuable papers


Depending on the coverage form, project type and total completed value, your client may purchase a number of other endorsements, including flood and earthquake in some states, to expand the already extensive coverage offered on the Zurich builders risk policy, subject to underwriting guidelines.

For more information, visit our coverages page.

How to select the best builders risk insurance carrier

Partnering with a construction expert that also offers financial stability and reliability is the best place to start.

Working with a provider that has an established track record of favorable claims history is a critical factor when advising any client. Providers like US Assure and Zurich, that practice sound and consistent underwriting and have expertise in construction, have the qualities of proven reliable partners.

Don’t take our word for it. Learn the nine factors essential to your success when you download An Agent’s Guide to Finding the Right Partner.

How do you start a builders risk application?

In just minutes, you can rate, quote and issue with the Builders Risk Plan insured by Zurich.

In order to begin a builders risk application online with US Assure, you’ll need to gather the below information. Download our Getting Started Online Checklist for a complete list.

Information needed to complete a builders risk application online with US Assure


Become an agent today

There’s no minimum volume or premium commitment or lengthy paperwork. Simply complete our online form, and you’ll instantly receive access the same day to issue our construction and property insurance products. Start the online registration process now!


This is intended as a general description of certain types of insurance and services available to qualified customers. Any description of policy provisions is meant to give a broad overview of coverages and does not revise or amend a policy. Refer to the policy coverage form for a complete representation of the scope of coverage, terms, conditions, exclusions and more. The policy is the contract that specifically and fully describes your coverage. Some products may not be available in all states and may only be offered on a non admitted basis. Product availability is subject to change.

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