Self build insurance may cover new houses being built from scratch, or existing houses that are undergoing significant extension, renovation, or restoration.

Self build insurance gives you peace of mind during the construction process and will protect your investment until it can be covered by home insurance.

Self build insurance Ireland

What is self build insurance?

Self build insurance, or course of construction insurance, is specialist insurance for houses or building projects that are at the site stage, or at any stage of the construction process up to completion.

Self build insurance is a type of specialist insurance which is tailored to the unique risks of your project and the specific form of construction that you are undertaking.

Typically, home insurance buildings cover is available only for completed houses and occupied homes, with strict criteria regarding occupation. 

Furthermore, carrying out any kind of renovation or extension may invalidate your existing home insurance, so it is essential to either arrange cover with your existing insurer, or where this is not possible, to take out self build insurance.

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Who needs self-build insurance?

If you are building your own house, or in some instances if you are significantly renovating, extending, or refurbishing your existing home you may need self build insurance. Self build insurance is a specific insurance policy that offers protection that is tailored to your build.

You will need to consider self build insurance if you are:

  • Building your new house from scratch.
  • Demolishing an old building and building a new home.
  • Significantly renovating or extending your existing home.
  • Moving out of your home to complete extensive building work.
  • Doing work yourself on your new build.
  • Employing direct labour to complete your build.
Who needs self-build insurance

What does self build insurance cover?

Self build insurance is a completely different type of insurance to standard home insurance and covers risks that are not included in standard home insurance.

Self build insurance will typically offer financial protection for your site and your belongings on the site eg. plant, tools, and construction materials as well as the structure that is under construction.

Self build insurance will generally also include some form of public liability and employers liability cover.

Self build insurance or course of construction insurance may offer protection from fire, storm, lightning and explosion as well as theft and vandalism or malicious damage.

  • Employers liability cover
  • Public liability cover
  • Legal expenses cover

Employers liability cover for self build insurance

You may need some form of employers liability cover as part of your self build insurance. Do not assume that the tradespeople involved in your construction have their own insurance, they may not. Employers liability insurance protects you financially should a tradesperson working on site die, be injured, or have their property damaged by their work on your site.

Furthermore if you are taking on a self build project using direct labour, you are an employer and will need employers liability cover. It is also essential to have insurance that covers you for damage to your property whilst it is under construction, should the work of tradespeople employed cause damage to the structure.

It is also a condition of self build insurance that all tradespeople employed (even family members volunteering) have a valid safe pass.

Employers liability cover

Public Liability Insurance for self build projects

It is strongly advised to have public liability insurance in place, even if you are at the site stage and there is, as of yet, no construction underway. Public liability insurance protects you if a third party is injured or their property damaged on your site. 

Public liability insurance is also essential while building work is being carried out in order to protect you should a third party be injured, or their property damaged by your building works.

Public liability insurance is financial protection for your business

Are you legally required to have self build insurance?

There is no legal requirement to have self build insurance in Ireland. However it is strongly advised to have self build insurance due to the essential protection it offers. This type of insurance should be tailored to the specific work you are undertaking.

Self build insurance will protect you financially from the many things that can and do go wrong in building your own home and will give you peace of mind that your investment is protected.

How much is self build insurance?

The cost of self build insurance is unique to each individual project and depends on a number of factors from the type of building being constructed and the processes involved in its construction.

Some of the factors that may affect the price of self build are outlined here.

Factors such as whether the site is fenced, and the security of plant and tools being stored on site will affect the price of self build insurance. If plant or tools can be stored in a locked container, for example, this will reduce the price you pay for insurance.

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The level of employers liability cover you require will affect the price you pay for self build insurance. Employers liability cover requirements will be determined by the scope, duration, and number of employees involved in construction.

The amount of public liability cover you choose will have a bearing on the premium you pay for self build insurance. It is important to have sufficient public liability cover to protect against the risk of a third party suffering an injury or loss due to the operation of your building work.

The size, intended use, and level of completion will be reflected in the price you pay for self build insurance. Homes of standard construction, timber framed houses, eco homes, or log cabins will all pose different risks to insurers.

The duration of the project, as well as the level of completion will be reflected in the quote you receive for self build insurance. Whether demolition works are required, for example, will also affect your insurance.

If you include personal accident or legal expenses cover, for example, you will increase the price you pay for self build insurance. It is not wise to forego cover to save on your premium, however. If you intend to carry out a lot of work yourself, for example, you may need personal accident cover.

An excess is the amount you pay out of pocket before you are financially protected by your insurance policy. Generally, if you are willing to pay a higher excess, you will pay less for self build insurance.

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Self Build Insurance Providers in Ireland

As self build insurance is a specialist product it may be provided by specialist insurance providers as well as some home insurers.

This may be on a case by case basis and may only be available to homeowners who have an existing home insurance policy. Here are some examples of home insurers who provide this type of cover.

Compare all send build insurance providers on the market to get the best and cheapest quotes for you. Compare Insurance all compare the market for you and send your quotes for FREE.

AXA - Home Insurance
Zurich - Home Insurance
FBD - Home Insurance
Aviva - Home Insurance


Axa offers course of construction insurance. This type of insurance covers loss or damage to the property under construction. It does not provide cover for theft, public liability, or liability to subcontractors,for direct labour, or for employees. This policy has an excess of €1,000.


Zurich may offer home insurance cover for homeowners who already have home insurance with them, depending on the nature of work to be carried out. A key condition of continuing to offer home insurance cover is whether the homeowner remains living in the house. Zurich may offer fire only cover whilst renovations are carried out.


Fbd offers self build insurance provided you are building a home from scratch on a green site as building under construction insurance. FBD will also offer their home insurance customers continued cover while they extend or renovate their homes. They may limit cover to fire, lightning and explosion cover if the homeowner is living elsewhere, however.


Aviva Aviva will offer fire cover self build insurance for building on a green field site. They may offer existing customers continued cover on a limited basis while renovating their homes. This may be limited to fire only cover.


Yes, it’s essential that you speak to your existing insurer to let them know that you are planning to add an extension as it may not be covered by your existing policy.

You may not be covered by your existing home insurance. You would need to speak to your home insurer as all insurers have different terms and conditions. It would be worthwhile to consider self build insurance, especially if you are using direct labour, as you will have additional protections.

It is wise to take out some form of self build insurance immediately. Even if you do not plan to start construction immediately, you may need to have public liability insurance in place.

They may have their own insurance, although not all do. Furthermore it is essential that you consider self build insurance as you will have more comprehensive cover, including financial protection should an insured risk such as fire or storm damage the structure of your home before it is completed.

Yes, it is a good idea to have self build insurance in place as you will be protected from storm, fire, lightning or explosion, from theft of construction materials or tools, and you will have public and employers liability cover.

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Learn more about new build insurance!

Building your own home is so rewarding, and if you can do at least some of the work yourself you will save money. However, things can and do go wrong during construction projects. 

Self build insurance will give you peace of mind that your asset is protected while building is underway, taking some of the stress and hassle out of the project. Speak to us today or complete the online assessment to find the right insurance cover for your self build project.

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