Following  the leaky homes crisis most public/general liability policies in New Zealand include a Building Defects Exclusion. Read more about that here: Be Aware of the Building Defects Exclusion. Essentially, it excludes claims related to water penetrating the external envelope of a building.

Recently Ando, who are the insurer behind the liability cover Builtin offers through our online portal, have added a benefit to their policy which gives some cover for accidental water penetration. This benefits trade professionals who are at risk of causing accidental damage that results in water penetrating the envelope of a building. It comes with an additional premium however.

This is the specific wording of the benefit:

Ando General Liability – Building Defects Endorsement (GL236)
Exclusion 3.5 (Building Defects) will not apply in respect of any amounts you become legally liable to pay as compensation for property damage caused by an occurrence and to which a claim under this policy applies, provided;
            a) you will pay an excess of $2,500 for every claim under this endorsement; and
            b) The maximum aggregate amount payable by us under this endorsement during any one period of insurance is $25,000 inclusive of defence costs.
For the purposes of this endorsement only Exclusion 3.10 (defective materials, design and work) is deleted and replaced as follows:
            Liability for:
                        a) defective materials;
                        b) any defect in any design, plan or specification;
                        c) defective work; or
                        d) improving or correcting any work undertaken by you or on your behalf.
            This exclusion does not apply to resultant property damage arising from defective work under Exclusion 3.10 (C).
For the avoidance of doubt all other provisions of the policy apply to this extension.

Basically, this means if you’re responsible for accidental damage that causes water to penetrate the building envelope you’ll be covered up to $25,000 (subject to all other terms & conditions of the policy). Given that this is a significant risk for some trades it could be seen as a worthwhile benefit. Ando have loaded the premium to include this benefit based on the risk each trade poses. So, a flooring contractor does not have to pay any extra, but a roofer has to pay much more for this benefit, but is much more likely to need it.