Self-build popularity grows as 1 in 20 consider designing and building their own home in response to the COVID-19 crisis

During the pandemic, the Government has made it easier for cities and towns to adapt to the challenges they have faced. This has included making it easier to demolish and rebuild unused buildings as homes.* 

In April, the Government launched a £150 million Help to Build scheme** to support consumers wanting to build, together with an extensive Action Plan aimed at supporting a boost in custom and self-build delivery.

Together, the two-pronged approach could help kickstart a self-build revolution, encouraging far more people to consider an owner-commissioned home, while providing a valuable route to work for SME housebuilders.

New research conducted by The National Custom and Self Build Association (NaCSBA) and the Building Societies Association (BSA) around the aspirations of those wanting to self-build, revealed that 1 in 3 adults (32%) in Great Britain are interested in self-build at some point in the future. With 1 in 20 (5%) considering designing and building their own home in response to the crisis.*** 

When it comes to having the right cover in place to tackle these types of projects it’s important to work with experts that understand that changing landscape. Our Aviva Marketplace partner ‘ProAktive Self-Build’ developed the first UK self-build insurance policy in 1984 and have been one of the industry leaders ever since. They’ve recently launched their ‘Developer Insurance’ product that sits alongside their Self-Build policy which they’ve been running successfully for nearly 14 years.

“We are really excited about the developments in the self-build space as this will allow many more people the opportunity to design and build their own property whilst helping with the national housing shortage. Our expertise has allowed us to develop flexible insurance products for our clients, supported by AVIVA, which will give self-builders and developers the confidence to realise their ambitions.”  Andrew Reardon, ProAktive Schemes Manager

What does a self-build insurance policy offer your clients?

ProAktive’s self-build insurance and site insurance coverage is suitable for all types of construction, including brick and block, timber frame, SIP panels, ICF, cob and many others. It is important to take this policy out at the point of starting the self-build project. This not only protects your clients against risks of injury and damage to their property but gives them peace of mind knowing everything is in place if the worst was to happen.

As standard, Self-Build Insurance and Site Insurance cover includes:

  • Employer’s liability insurance at £10 million
  • Public liability insurance at £5 million
  • Contract works insurance – cover for your self-build during the course of construction
  • Plant and tools owned by the proposer at £30,000
  • Optional tools and personal effects owned by employees at £2,000
  • Optional site huts and caravans at £30,000, inclusive of £5,000 for contents

Who is Property Developer's Insurance for?

If your clients are building one or more new houses, extending, converting, or renovating a residential property with the intention to sell or rent on completion, our Developer Policy could be for them.

ProAktive’s Developer Policy is designed to cover small to medium new-build developments, as well as being suitable for conversion, extension, and renovation work on existing properties, including those being converted from commercial to residential use.

As standard, Property Developer Insurance cover includes:

  • Contractors All Risks cover for the contract works
  • Public Liability up to £5 million
  • Employer’s Liability up to £10 million, which is a legal requirement if you employ people to work on your site.
  • We can also provide the option to include both Owned and Hired in Plant where required.
  • If your client is undertaking an extension, renovation or conversion and the project includes an existing structure, our policy will extend to cover this as well.

If the property remains unsold once the 90-day period is up or the Developer Policy has ended, we can access several insurers to provide unoccupied buildings cover while it is awaiting sale or rental.

How do I get a quote?

You can access the newly-launched online quote and buy facility which allows you to obtain a quick quote and to bind cover immediately on both Self-build and Developer cover. 

For further information you can download the ProAktive guide to insuring your clients projects

You can also visit ProAktive’s Self-build and Property Developer product pages on Aviva Marketplace where you’ll find our wide range of solutions for those hard-to-place risks.



***NaCSBA and the BSA commissioned YouGov to conduct the survey. Data is based on total sample size of 2017 adults, with the survey carried out online on 9th-11th October 2020. Figures are weighted and representative of all GB adults (aged 18+) This is guidance and not advice.