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As of 1 July 2019, certain construction professionals are required to take out insurance to cover their professional civil liability, i.e. their liability relating to the intellectual services they perform, on all construction sites.
For which construction sites is the insurance compulsory?
The insurance is compulsory for:
- all construction sites, regardless of the intervention of an architect and the fact that the building is primarily intended to be inhabited;
- immovable property located in Belgium.
Which construction professionals need to be insured?
The following construction professionals must be insured:
- the architect;
- the certified surveyor;
- the health and safety coordinator;
- all service providers in the construction sector, other than the property developer, who may incur professional liability in connection with the intellectual services they provide. Examples include: engineers, consultancies (stability, special techniques, etc.), project managers, quantity surveyors, auditors and also GRP certifiers and energy auditors.
You must examine in concreto whether the intellectual services are likely to engage professional liability.
What must the insurance cover?
The insurance covers the liability of construction professionals for the intellectual services they perform, with the exception of decennial civil liability.
How long does the insurance cover last?
For the duration of the insurance contract, the insurance covers claims for compensation made against the insured parties for damage that occurred during the term of the contract.
For 36 months from the end of the insurance contract, claims for compensation are covered if they relate to:
- damage occurring during the term of the insurance contract if, at the end of the contract, the risk is not covered by another insurance company;
- acts or occurrences which may give rise to damage, which occurred and were declared to the insurance company during the term of the contract.
For a period of three years from the day on which registration in the register of the Association of Architects or Certified Surveyors or from the day on which the service provider in the construction sector ceases his activities, the insurance covers liability for actions brought within that three-year period.
How can you check that the construction professionals working on your site are insured?
All contractual documents must indicate:
- the name and business number of the insurance company;
- the number of the insurance policy.
Before starting the works, the contractors and other service providers must provide you and your architect with their decennial civil liability insurance certificate. The architect must take care of this.
On the construction site, each construction professional must be in possession of the certificate(s) from his insurer. He may be insured via a comprehensive policy whereby all the professionals involved in the construction or renovation are insured under the same policy, or via an individual policy.
Are you planning to build or renovate?
Consult our tips to find a competent and reputable contractor.
Are you insured (and reassured) for your project?
It is important to be well insured and to choose service providers who are also well insured! Your insurer or insurance broker can help you determine the insurance cover you need for your project, such as "Construction All Risks" (CAR) and "Legal Protection" insurance.
He can also inform you about the insurance cover that may be mandatory for your architect and contractor(s).
Do you have any problems with the execution of the work, the follow-up of the building site, etc.?
Before contacting the insurer of your architect/contractor/... whose liability may be invoked:
- First, contact the architect/contractor;
- Check that the damage is not covered by other insurance such as your own fire insurance.