Residential Building Works home insurance - new and improved from 1 July 2020
Where the work being undertaken is of a more substantial nature, the homeowner is likely to employ a professional team to oversee the project.
Architects in particular tend to work with “off the shelf” JCT (Joint Contracts Tribunal) or the RIAI (Royal Institute of Architects in Ireland) contracts for projects in the Republic of Ireland, as these provide a good template to deal with all aspects of the operation of the works and the relationship between the builder and the homeowner.
Within the JCT/RIAI contract, the homeowner may be contractually obliged to insure in joint names with the contractor, both the existing structure and the works against loss or damage by specified perils.
By agreeing to insure in joint names the homeowners existing insurer loses the right to pursue the contractor and recover any costs they may have to pay out in the event of a claim, even if they have been negligent.
Insurers can be extremely reluctant to maintain insurance which is in joint names and could seek to reduce their exposure by limiting the extent of cover. This could mean the homeowner may then be in breach of their contractual obligations as stated within the JCT/RIAI contract.