When shopping for builders risk insurance it is important to consider what type of work your company does. The best builders risk insurance companies can cover residential, commercial, and renovation projects, provide a certificate of insurance (COI), and offer risk control services. Using our proprietary rubric focusing on financial stability, customer satisfaction, convenience, and policies offered, we evaluated 16 different providers to determine the five best builders risk insurance companies:
- CoverWallet: Best overall provider for builders risk insurance
- The Hartford: Best for quick quotes and green building coverage
- Nationwide Insurance: Best coverage options
- Chubb: Best for residential builders
- Travelers: Best for risk control services
Top Builders Risk Insurance Companies Compared
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CoverWallet: Overall Best Insurer for Builders Risk
- No 24/7 call center
- No dedicated app for policy management
- Claims are handled by provider and not CoverWallet
- Single contact for claims, policy management, and any type of coverage changes
- Shop for the right policy by working with a skilled broker and multiple carriers
- Risk assessments to help you determine the right coverage
- Online account access to manage your policy
Financial stability: CoverWallet works with multiple top-rated carriers like The Hartford and Chubb, which both have Superior ratings from AM Best.
CoverWallet is an online brokerage that works with multiple top-rated carriers. It can provide trusted advice and is not commissioned by a single carrier, so you can search for coverage from multiple providers to find what you need.
Note that it can be difficult to find builders risk insurance—most insurers require you to reach out to a local agent and work with them just to get a quote. CoverWallet is our top recommendation because it can help you find the right coverage by working with multiple providers simultaneously. It also offers advice on which provider is best for your construction project and can do so over the phone, via online chat, or through email.
One downside with going the broker route is that while you can manage your policy and file a claim with CoverWallet, it will then need to work with the carrier to finalize anything, which can lead to a delay at times. Also, in the event that you have a claim, the provider will handle that, which can lead to some confusion with multiple parties involved. Any of the other carriers on this list would be an alternative to that situation if you would prefer to have only one point of contact throughout the life of your policy.
You can start a quote online or call CoverWallet to begin the quote process. Once the questions are completed, CoverWallet’s advisors will work to provide you with quotes from multiple carriers, and you can contact them as a follow-up—or one will follow up with you. Some of the providers it works with are:
- Berkshire Hathaway Guard
CoverWallet has advisors who are available to help you determine the right type of coverage, endorsements, and limits for any project. It is available Monday through Saturday online or over the phone.
When you purchase a policy through CoverWallet, you gain a “smart digital wallet,” which is your online account. CoverWallet provides 24/7 access to your policy documents. You can also manage your policy, file claims, make payments, and get an instant COI.
As a brokerage, there are no complaints filed with NAIC. On eKomi, an independent review company, it has 4.8 out of 5 stars from nearly 800 reviews.
The Hartford: Best for Quick Quotes & Green Building Coverage
- Unable to start quote process online
- Program seems focused more on mid-size businesses
- The Hartford’s builders risk policies do not have a coinsurance clause
- Earned profit coverage for the building project
- Broad definition of property to include underground structures and scaffolding
- Permission to occupy property during the construction
Financial stability: The Hartford has been financially stable for over two hundred years. AM Best rated The Hartford A+ (Superior).
Small businesses insurer The Hartford makes the policy fit your business needs by including coverages such as property owned by other parties, heavy equipment, valuable papers, electronic data, and testing of new equipment. It stands out in our evaluation because of its quick quote option for small businesses.
You can email a submission to a dedicated email address, and within 16 business hours receive a quote for builders risk insurance. While this may seem long, the reality is that with the nature of builders’ risk, insurers need to ensure they are providing appropriate coverage at a fair price to both parties involved.
Also, The Hartford has developed a number of coverages related to green building supplies and renewable energy options. This includes additional coverage for certifications expenses and vegetative roofing materials.
An alternative option to The Hartford is the broker CoverWallet. The primary appeal in this scenario is CoverWallet’s ability to work with multiple providers to find you coverage for your project.
Beyond the quick quote option for small businesses needing builders risk, quotes are available by either calling The Hartford directly or filling out information to locate a local agent.
Some standout features for the builders risk coverage include a single deductible. If multiple deductibles apply to the same loss, it will only apply to the largest applicable deductible, saving you more out-of-pocket money. It also has $100,000 in coverage to find, restore, and if necessary, replace any electronic data or documents lost in a claimable loss.
Construction material is covered on a replacement-cost basis and the policy does not have a coinsurance clause.
The Hartford offers a quality online experience including filing a claim, managing and paying for your policy, and obtaining a COI.
Despite writing substantial amounts of insurance for commercial property, over $500 million in premiums in 2021, it had only five complaints recorded by the NAIC. This is well below the national average.
The Hartford works with independent insurance agents, and independent agents have voted it as one of the best carriers to work with, according to a 2022 survey by J.D. Power.
Conveniently, it has a clear overview of coverage and exclusions for builders risk, giving you a better idea of how it works before purchasing.
Nationwide: Best for Coverage Options
- Some coverage options unavailable in every state
- Unable to obtain online estimate
- No clear guidelines on how to obtain a COI
- Coverage options to fit your specific building project needs
- Available when you need it, no matter the day or week
- Ability to bundle general liability with some builder risk policies
- Large amount of endorsements to expand coverage for specific job requirements
Financial stability: Nationwide has the financial stability you want to handle claims. AM Best’s rating of Nationwide is an A+ (Superior).
Nationwide offers builders risk for commercial, residential, and renovation projects, including personal home renovation projects. A unique offering in our research is that some projects qualify for general liability to be packaged with it.
Its policies come with a lot of included coverage, like $5,000 for property off-site or $1,000 for first responder service charge. Its range of coverage and the number of endorsements available make this a great choice for construction companies with a range of projects because each project will be different through its standard offering, endorsements, and optional general liability.
Nationwide is a great option for flexible coverage options. Also, it has a number of loss control services, but Travelers has a better offering. If having onsite help and risk evaluation provided are important, then consider Travelers for your builders’ risk needs.
You can start a quote online or call Nationwide directly. Alternatively, you can look up a local agent in your area. You will be unable to purchase the policy online, and most likely, after beginning the quote, you will need to call to finish.
Nationwide offers builders risk insurance for general contractors, developers, individuals, owners, corporations, and more. It has coverage for business income, soft costs, equipment breakdown, debris removal, and installation coverage. Some of its coverage is automatically included, like $5,000 for property in transit, but can be increased if necessary.
In some situations, such as when a policy is taken out with an owner and general contractor listed as named insureds, general liability is available. Because Nationwide is a large commercial insurer, construction companies can get the other coverage needed, including workers’ compensation, commercial auto, and commercial property.
While builders risk quotes are unavailable online, most other forms of commercial insurance have an online quote. Nationwide runs a 24/7 call center to file claims and for customer service.
It has almost 130 risk management professionals throughout the country to visit your job site and provide evaluation and feedback to mitigate risk. The team includes fire protection specialists, construction engineers, and mechanical engineers. Nationwide also utilizes drones.
Complaints with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) are well below the national average at zero. This matches with Nationwide being ranked first by customers on J.D. Power’s 2023 U.S. Small Commercial Insurance Study.
Chubb: Best for Residential Builders
- Unable to start a quote online
- Cannot purchase insurance online
- Unclear process for obtaining a COI
- Specialized policies for coastal builders
- Custom coverage for residential builders
- Appetite for small to large businesses
- Will insure residential, commercial, and municipal contracts
Financial stability: Chubb is a global insurer with a great financial position. Chubb’s AM Best rating is A++ (Superior).
Global insurer Chubb offers builders risk for domestic and commercial builders. While it has a broad appetite for builders risk, it has developed a specialized policy specifically for residential construction companies, focusing on domestic homebuilding.
Coverage is available for companies building individual dwellings, clubhouses, model homes, and specific community projects. This makes it a great option for small businesses that focus on residential home building and renovation projects.
For a quote. you’ll need to reach out to an agent. If you’d prefer to start something online, then consider using CoverWallet as your best bet for getting started.
Builders risk insurance quotes are available by calling Chubb or reaching out to a local agent.
To accommodate the special needs of residential homebuilders, Chubb has several specific coverages. These include coverage for construction trailers and contents, infrastructure development, and vacant lot debris removal. It also has coverage for dwellings that are completed but empty while you are selling them or waiting on the closing. It has also delayed opening coverage for financial losses that result from the opening of the property being delayed.
A unique feature is for builders operating in coastal regions. Chubb has developed SPECTRA® for Builders Risk. This policy focuses on coverage for named storms and is available as a standalone coverage or can be purchased to add coverage for a named storm. It has an annual aggregate deductible cap in case there are multiple named storms during the process.
While Chubb does have online account maintenance, the details on what you can or cannot do are not readily available. It does, however, offer 24/7 accessibility for losses and customer service. It also has lower-than-expected complaints with the NAIC.
Chubb offers risk engineering services for its builders risk customers, which includes consultation services from engineering specialists and risk managers. It can also offer engineer evaluations and risk management for home builders.
Travelers: Best for Risk Control Services
- Unable to start a quote online
- No option to purchase insurance online
- Must call local agent to get a quote
- Specialized builders risk policy
- Wide range of available risk control services
- Appetite for projects regardless of size and scope: small or large projects are acceptable
- Permission to occupy building during construction coverage included
Financial stability: Travelers is a global insurer with more than 100 years of experience. AM Best rated Travelers an A++ (Superior).
Managing risk is an important part of the commercial insurance experience: it helps prevent injuries and losses that helps with keeping premiums down. Travelers stands out as a leading provider of builders risk insurance through its risk control services.
While it has a dedicated online resource library for policyholders, it also has a team of risk control specialists who visit over 300 job sites per month. Because of these visits, its team can bring a level of experience to your job site and bring first-hand data to its recommendations.
Regular, on-site visitation is not a service offered by every provider. If you feel this isn’t important and would like to be able to try to find the lowest price, then consider working with CoverWallet to find your builders’ risk insurance.
Like the other providers reviewed in our guide, there are no online quotes for this line of business from Travelers. For a quote, you can enter your local ZIP code on the website, and Travelers will provide information for a local agent.
The builders risk policy sold by Travelers is Construction Pak®. This policy is targeted at specialty trades and general contractors and is written on a broad form to increase eligible coverage with replacement cost and soft costs coverage.
This means, for example, that you do not need to add endorsements or individual interests as the wording is built to include others in the coverage. Rental value is included in the business income coverage as well. It also has automatic green building coverage and a broad definition of covered property to include temporary and permanent works like signs and scaffolding.
Installation, equipment breakdown, and equipment are available as additional options.
Travelers is available nationwide and offers an online policy management platform. You can file a claim online or call 24/7. It has lower-than-expected complaints filed with NAIC. A feature we’ve not encountered with any other insurer when doing research is that Travelers has a customer service advocacy hotline that is available 24/7.
For risk control services, Travelers has several programs. Some are free for its policyholders, others come at a discounted rate. Procure, discounted for Travelers customers, is a system to help construction projects manage deadlines across locations and jobs. It also has a tool called ZoneCheck to measure the potential risk of ground vibration from work. There are many more online resources including a dedicated risk control portal
How We Evaluated the Best Builders Risk Insurance Companies
We determined the best builders risk insurance companies using our in-house proprietary evaluation system. We focused on the customer’s needs, paying particular interest to convenience, financial ratings (AM Best), customer service, types of policies offered, and the overall experience as a policyholder for a specific provider.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
It is nearly impossible to find a provider who will give builders risk insurance quotes online. To find out the actual cost, you will need to speak with an agent. However, builders risk costs are usually 1% to 5% of the total cost of the project.
Any party with a financial interest in the project should ensure their name is listed on the policy. This can include owners, developers, general contractors, architects, engineers, or the lending institution.
Builders risk policies are either named peril or all-risk policies. Named peril policies cover only losses outlined in the policy, like fire, theft, or vandalism. All-risk policies cover all risks, except for the listed exclusions. Builders risk is a first-party policy, meaning it does not cover liability.
Whether you are renovating an older building or constructing a new master-planned community, you need builders risk insurance to protect the property and equipment during the construction. CoverWallet is the overall best builders risk insurer because of its experience, ability to help you find the right coverage at the right price, and convenient online account system.