Building and public works industry insurance


The law regulates decennial liability and requires building professionals to take out guarantees to ensure the completion of their construction or renovation work. But the building trades are very different: from the painter to the architect to the installer of alarms, are you all concerned by this cover? In other words: are you obliged to subscribe to a ten-year guarantee? What works are involved and how does it work?


Decennial insurance, compulsory for whom?


Is decennial insurance mandatory for a company?

Any natural or legal person working in the building trades may be held liable for ten years. This means that a customer can turn against your company (during the 10 years following the reception of the works) to ask you for the repairs of the damage that these would have provoked. Whatever the legal form of your construction company and your trade, you are considered a builder. To overcome this risk of liability and to ensure that your customers are sure that your construction or renovation business is solvent, you must take out a ten-year company insurance.


Is the ten-year guarantee mandatory for an auto entrepreneur?

It should be remembered that the insurance obligation relates to the construction or renovation of buildings. If this is your case, you are concerned!


The ten-year warranty is therefore mandatory for auto entrepreneurs building contractors.

However, two exceptions exist: If you perform the work as a subcontractor, the decennial auto entrepreneur compulsory insurance is not for you, because you do not deal directly with the owner. The contractor you work for will have to be covered! If you work on mobile equipment, you are also not subject to the ten-year obligation. Indeed, this coverage concerns only the indissociable elements of the structural work of the building. In both cases, you will have to be covered by a professional liability pro and a biennial guarantee, because you remain responsible for your work. Thus, taking out a ten-year insurance that includes these two guarantees is highly recommended!


Is the ten-year guarantee obligatory for craftsmen?

As a craftsman doing work on behalf of a client, the same presumption of responsibility weighs on your books. You are therefore part of the building professionals who are subject to the decennial mandatory. The latter will pay, for 10 years, the cost of repairing your work, if they have caused significant damage.


The building experts are bound by a so-called professional civil liability that covers all the damage caused to others, in connection with their activity. While the 10-year liability only concerns companies bound by a leasing contract, building professional liability concerns all stakeholders and at all levels.


General system of professional building third party insurance 

This is a civil liability, that provided by articles 1382 and following of the Civil Code. These articles provide that any damage commits the person who causes it to make good the damage. For professionals, this civil liability involves the repair of any damage generated by the site, the owner but also to third parties.


What does the professional building third party liability insurance cover?

It covers any damage caused during the construction site, but also after the reception of the works. As long as the link is established between the damage and the facts, the liability can be implemented. It can be a flood for the owner, or a window that has fallen on a passerby. In reality, there is a presumption of responsibility that weighs on the professional, but a simple presumption. While it is clear that mistakes are punished, negligence also brings this responsibility into play.


People held by this responsibility 

All the professionals who work on the building site are held of this responsibility. These include: The company that contracted the construction market Subcontractors, plumber, cabinetmakers, plasterer Design offices, architects, etc. In short, any intervener is liable for all damages that may be attributed to him. There is also a general responsibility for the company bound by a lease contract. He answers all the facts of the subcontractors and all those to whom he could call to carry out an operation on the building site.


Who can implement the insurance?

It is primarily the owner who is the first concerned. He may invoke the responsibility of all those who may be causing damage. Third parties may also incur the liability of a professional if he has been the victim of harm, such as a neighbor, or just a passerby who has received a detached window.


How to guard against it?

Since this is a simple presumption, the professional can release himself from his responsibility under certain conditions. Builders are also advised to purchase professional liability insurance to cover repairs.


Possible causes of exemption

There is no proper limit for such liability. But the professional can escape by proving that the facts are foreign to him, or that the victim has put himself in danger. This exemption obviously involves legal proceedings.


Why subscribe?

First, it is an obligation for any building professional to take out this insurance. It must be underwritten before the start of the project, at the risk of criminal prosecution. Then, insurance has two ends. It is a quick fix for repair costs, but it also aims to save the contractor’s finances. A repair is never anodyne for the artisans who do not have a lot of financial margins. Professional building liability can be brought into play at any time by anyone. It is difficult to get rid of it and the only recommendation for building professionals is to subscribe upstream insurance that covers all costs. As a legal obligation, non-underwriting can be punished with a heavy prison sentence and a fine of up to € 75,000.



Damage during work


Third party insurance for damage during work on a building site

In principle, the damages that occur during construction are the common law civil liability of the contractors. Thus, any damage or loss occurring during construction, before receipt, is the responsibility of the contractor. The contractor has the obligation to repair or restart the work, regardless of the cause of the damage. Contractors can insure against the causes likely to damage or destroy the construction during construction (fire, storm …) by means of a comprehensive insurance for all stakeholders (single site police: PUC; site risks: TRC).


Liability of the contractor in case of abandonment

If the contractor abandons the site for bankruptcy, negligence or misunderstanding, the “damage-work” insurance does not replace the defaulting contractor to complete the building. The insurer must nevertheless be warned of any stoppage of work longer than thirty days. If the contract does not include a delivery guarantee, you must: After formal notice remained unsuccessful, obtain the termination of the contract be amicable or judicial; Proceed to the reception of the work even unfinished, by calling the manufacturer by registered letter with acknowledgment of receipt. If the contract is accompanied by a delivery or completion guarantee, it must be implemented.


Damage of a decennial nature during construction

The major disorders that affect the solidity of the building and make it unsuitable for its destination may be covered, within the framework of the ten-year guarantee, by the property damage insurance, if the following conditions are met: The client shall issue a formal notice to the builder to remedy the defects, The formal notice has no effect, The construction contract is terminated.


Construction machinery is characterized by its dual function as a vehicle and as a working tool. Useful and indispensable to the activity of the company, these machines are also extremely expensive, which means that their owners must think of insuring them. Construction machinery is part of the company’s car insurance when it is used as a vehicle. On the other hand, when these machines are used as working tools, they can therefore be at the origin of accidents related to the activity of the company.


Construction machinery: mandatory guarantees to be provided

Construction machines can cause damage during their use as a tool and while traveling on the road. These vehicles are covered by the professional multi-risk insurance contract as long as they remain in the business premises. However, when these machines leave the enclosure of the company, they must have insurance to use the French road network since they are land motor vehicles (VTM). In concrete terms, construction machinery must be provided by: – Liability insurance covering the damage caused to third parties at the time of a traffic accident; – Operational or professional liability insurance to cover damage caused during the use of the machine.


Optional contracts Other optional optional contracts for construction machinery insurance are: – Theft and fire warranty; – The guarantee glass breakage; – Insurance of the objects transported; – Body protection of the driver of the machine used to cover the driver when he uses the machine, uses the road network and at the time of the loading and unloading operations; – The guarantee “breakage of machine” which allows the compensation for the repair or the repurchase of a machine; – The accident insurance all accidents within the framework of the professional activity; – Guarantee against natural and / or technological disasters, storms, attacks.


The insurance of a construction equipment for rent

If the company does not own a construction vehicle when it needs it, it decides in this case to rent on an ad hoc or regular basis from an entity specialized in the rental of vehicles. Both parties must then establish a lease in which are mentioned the conditions of insurance of the construction machine and the amount of deductibles applied.


What is professional third party liability insurance?

The Civil Code defines the cases that incur civil liability in its articles 1240 to 1244: Damage caused by his act (consequences of an act); Damage caused by negligence; Damage caused by his imprudence; Damages caused by the employees (the employees); Damage caused by animals or things in his custody (machines, buildings …). Other cases of liability are defined by law, especially for professionals, especially in the field of construction. All of these cases constitute the scope of the RC Pro. Indeed, the RC Pro can be engaged for all professional acts that may have caused harm. It can also be initiated indirectly, by the fact of a subcontractor for example.


Examples of Pro third party liability questioning

An employee of the company caused damage to a third party in the course of his work, for example while on a mission with a client. A client company may perceive itself to be financially, financially or legally injured as a result of an inadequate response. Employees and the boss himself may involuntarily breach a contractual commitment, be held liable for negligence, omission, delay, etc., the consequences of which are significant to a third party. A subcontractor does not respect a delivery time. You may be implicated as a co-contractor.


Third party liability : Why is it interesting?

The RC Pro is an essential element in ensuring the safety of a company. This is why it is a highly recommended guarantee for many professions. For some of them regulated by law, it is even mandatory (liberal professions, etc.).

Since the RC Pro is not mandatory for everyone, it is very often that professionals forget to insure themselves, which sometimes puts society at great risk.

Indeed, no one is supposed to ignore his insurance coverage when setting up a company and then for its proper functioning.

The RC Pro also provides insurance against the intangible damage you may have caused without causing any material or financial damage. This concept is essential in the assembly of your RC Pro file with your insurance company.