Construction insurance

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The construction work insurance (formerly also building insurance and construction insurance ) is often part of a building construction insurance protects contractors and builders from damage that are unpredictable and occur during construction. This includes in particular damage caused by force majeure such as floods or storms. In general, however, damage caused by vandalism, unknown properties of the subsoil, construction and material defects, negligence and the like are also insured. It defines itself as all-risk coverage for the construction project underway with the naming of finally listed exclusions. In particular, damage caused by fire (fire, lightning strike, explosion, impact or rebound of manned and unmanned missiles) is not insured. The fire risk is usually insured via a so-called fire shell insurance , which is generally offered free of charge by the insurers during the construction period and which is converted into residential building insurance when it is ready to move into.

The term of the construction insurance usually extends over the entire construction period of the property, but often limited to 12 or 24 months.

According to VOB Part B §7, the risk bearing for the object under construction is regulated as follows:

  • The building contractor does not have to pay for unavoidable events (including war, force majeure, riot) (for example extraordinary weather events). The building contractor is entitled to reimbursement of his services by the building owner.
  • The building contractor must provide compensation for other events (for example, unusual weather conditions). He is not entitled to reimbursement of his services by the client.

The building contractor can only demand remuneration from the building owner after his work has been accepted . If a shell is damaged by an unforeseeable event, the building contractor has to rebuild and only receives the agreed fee from the building owner upon acceptance .

With the construction insurance, the building contractor can receive compensation for this repeated service.

This insurance is of great value for the builder, because in the event of an unavoidable event - if the builder is entitled to reimbursement of his services - the builder can demand compensation through the construction services insurance (builder risk).

If the building contractor takes out insurance, it can be agreed that the builder risk is also insured.

If the builder is the policyholder , co-insurance of the builder risk is mandatory. In these cases it is usually agreed that the premium for the construction insurance will be passed on to the building contractors in the proportion of their trades.

Construction insurance is sold by insurers (insurance companies) in two main forms.

  • With the terms and conditions “General Conditions for Construction Insurance by Client” (ABN), all construction works are insured for a new building or a building renovation.
  • The terms and conditions “General Conditions for Construction Insurance for Entrepreneurial Services” (ABU) insure construction services themselves, including ancillary services, in particular for construction companies.

The two sets of conditions do not differ particularly greatly. In terms of the insurance exclusions and the rules on compensation, they are largely identical. The clearest differences can be found between the two types of construction insurance with regard to the question of what is insured.

According to the ABN, all construction services are insured in the event of a new building or a building renovation. The insurance basically targets a specific building and thus serves the interests of the client in particular, but also the interests of general contractors or general contractors who want to insure the construction of an entire building with the help of ABN. The insured risks at ABN are referred to as builder risk and entrepreneurial risk.

In contrast, the insurance policies according to the ABU are not aimed at a building, but rather at construction services and ancillary services - those of the main construction trade (civil engineering), but also those of the ancillary construction trade. Examples are the construction of roads, tunnels and galleries as well as the construction of sewage and hydropower plants. The insurance based on the ABU is therefore the typical insurance for building contractors. The insured is the entrepreneurial risk, the co-insurance of the client risk (clauses 6364 and 6365 to the ABU) is possible.

Almost a separate type of construction insurance is an insurance based on the ABU, which also insures damage that is to be borne by the builder himself via the so-called additional clause 6364. Since such an ABU insurance extended by Clause 6364 can also be taken out by the builder himself (via the so-called Clause 6365), this effectively creates a builder’s own insurance policy. If all damage for construction work on an object is to be insured with regard to liability options for all parties involved in the construction project, several insurance policies, one according to the ABN and one according to ABU with clause 6365, must be taken out.

Web links


  • Horst Dietz, Sven Fischer, Christian Gierschek - Residential building insurance - Commentary, Verlag Versicherungswirtschaft, 2015, ISBN 978-3-8629-8342-1
  • Rolf Rehm, Dieter Frömel - Construction services insurance - Beck Juristischer Verlag, 2008, ISBN 978-3-4065-7460-3
  • Florian Krause-Allenstein - Handbook of Construction Insurance Law - Werner Verlag, 2013, ISBN 978-3-8041-2285-7