Who Pays for Builders Risk Insurance? Navigating Project Responsibilities

Who Pays for Builders Risk Insurance Cost?

An image of Contractors and builders studying a building plan
An image of Contractors and builders studying a building plan/PHOTO: Files

Building something grand is exciting, but the potential risks can cast a shadow.

That’s where builders’ risk insurance steps in, safeguarding your investment during construction.

But amidst the blueprints and hammering, a crucial question emerges: who foots the bill for this protective umbrella?

While contracts often dictate the answer, navigating the responsibility for builders’ risk insurance can feel like deciphering hieroglyphics.

Worry not, for this guide illuminates the common scenarios and empowers you to make informed decisions for your project.

Project Owner/Developer vs. General Contractor

So, who’s the designated payer?

The two main suspects are the project owner/developer and the general contractor.

Typically, the party with the most significant financial stake shoulders the cost.

Think towering skyscrapers or complex renovations – the owners often take the reins of insurance, ensuring control over policy terms and cost management.

But the contractor isn’t always off the hook.

For smaller projects with lump-sum contracts, the responsibility may shift.

Specific contractual clauses can also play a role, potentially placing the burden on the contractor or even splitting it between parties.

Here are some common scenarios where the project owner or the contractor pays for the insurance:

The project owner pays when:

  • The project is large and complex, requiring a high level of coverage and customization.
  • The project is financed by a lender, who may require the owner to obtain and maintain the insurance.
  • The owner wants to have full control over the policy terms, limits, and deductibles.

The contractor pays when:

  • The project is small and simple, requiring a standard level of coverage and minimal customization.
  • The project is part of a lump-sum contract, where the contractor agrees to provide all the materials and services for a fixed price.
  • The contract specifies that the contractor is responsible for obtaining and maintaining the insurance.

The Importance of Naming All Parties as Insureds

Now, remember, builders’ risk insurance isn’t a solo act.

Everyone with a financial interest in the project deserves the spotlight.

That’s why naming all involved parties as “named insureds” is crucial.

It grants them direct protection under the policy, ensuring peace of mind for everyone involved.

Some of the parties that should be named as insureds are:

  • The project owner/developer
  • The general contractor
  • The subcontractors
  • The architects and engineers
  • The lenders and investors

How to Find the Best Policy for Your Project

Insurance isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution.

Policy costs depend on factors like project size, location, and chosen coverage.

To avoid sticker shock, consulting with insurance specialists is your best bet.

They’ll craft a nice policy that fits your project’s unique needs and budget.

Some of the factors that influence the policy cost are:

  • The type and scope of the project
  • The location and duration of the project
  • The value and materials of the project
  • The coverage options and exclusions
  • The policy limits and deductibles

To find the best policy for your project, you can follow these steps:

An infographic on how to find the best  policy for your project
An infographic on how to find the best policy for your project


Who pays for builders’ risk insurance cost isn’t a simple answer.

It’s a nuanced dance between project dynamics, contract agreements, and shared responsibility.

Remember, clear communication and a good understanding of your specific project are key to solving this financial knot.


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