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Embarking on building construction, take insurance

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Construction sites either for building or other useable structures are possible death traps and injury prone environments, which poses danger for site workers and passers bye.

This is worsened where quacks and non building professionals take up construction works in other to make ends meet, therefore making construction environment more risky for workers and other people around.

In Nigeria today, like many other developing countries, building construction is very much on the increase particularly as result of the yawning gap for more housing and infrastructure development, which shortfall experts say is close to 16 million units.

But the danger here really is during construction, where, as a result of the anomalies in the system there have been records of building collapse resulting to injuries on the workers or third parties or in some cases death.

When things like this happen, there is the tendency that jobs at site are distracted and in many occasions stopped indefinitely, pending when cases arising from the accident is settled, and in most cases usually in court.

While the court case lasted; in some occasions you find the project abandoned because the builder or contractor would have used the money meant to continue the project to pursue the case in court; pay damages; medical bills and even pay for death benefits in extreme cases.

At the end of the day, there is huge economic loss on the part of the builder or the contractor, because he would have used the resources meant to complete the building to pursue court cases and pay for damages that result from the accident

Purchasing a liability insurance policy therefore could offer your business the protection that you need from lawsuits resulting from unintentional mistakes, including at construction sites. If, for instance, a bricklayer at a construction site mistakenly drops load of concrete and accidentally this falls on somebody at the ground floor, then the insurance policy would pay for any loss caused by the mistake”

Builders Liability Insurance also called construction insurance is one of the compulsory insurance policies in Nigeria covered by the Insurance Act 2003. The insurance policy was meant to protect the site workers against any construction related risks. The site workers whom the insurance policy seeks to protect include- bricklayers, artisans, welder, architects, engineers and carpenters. It also covers third parties and members of the public from all construction related risks including collapse of building under construction.

Section 64(1) of the 2003 Insurance Act states that “No person shall cause to be constructed any building of more than two floors without insuring with a registered insurer, his liability in respect of construction risks caused by his negligence or the negligence of his servants, agents or consultants, which may result in bodily injury or loss of life to or damage to property of any workman on the site or of any member of the public.

According to the law, the duty to insure under subsection (1) of this section shall arise when a building is under construction.

Subsection three states that a person who contravenes subsection (1) of this section commits an offence and on conviction shall be liable to a fine of N250, 000 or imprisonment for three years or both.

Builders and construction workers who operate their own business need quality liability protection to provide peace of mind.

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