If you’ve been over to stuff you’ll know that we had a visit from some unwanted guests. The perfect irony of burglars who steal the high tech door locks still makes me almost chuckle. But only almost. Because of course it leaves us out of pocket. How much, we’re not exactly sure and happily, our Contract Works Insurance is hopefully going to kick in. Of course there’s a decent excess ($1000 in case you’re wondering) but given the extent of the stuff they’ve taken, it’s well worth the claim.
Interviewing the police was an eye opener for me about the types of things stolen from building sites, but I guess it stands to reason. It has however, made me nervous about leaving ANYTHING outside. They took our (super heavy) hand made bench for example. The more we look into the things that are missing though, the clearer it is that these were guys with either a shopping list, or a very clear idea of what they wanted. They went through a box of pretty expensive stainless fittings for example and stole a box of square head screws right at the bottom but left the rest.
Then of course was the weird stuff. The hose from our crappy build site vacuum cleaner. If anyone has a guess as to why you’d take that and not the whole machine we’d love to hear it. Mr BuildingBoxes figures they either had the same model and just wanted the hose, or maybe expected us to throw it away now it is utterly useless. I’m guessing it’s something much more random, who knows.
Chatting with a spokesman from IAG (the parent company for NZI, AMI, Lumley and State in New Zealand,) I wondered if they had any advice for would be builders. The short answer, DO get insurance. Contract Works isn’t like Home and Contents because there’s not necessarily a building to break into (obviously). But each policy is different, building materials are usually covered, and some tools, (there’s a catch all phrase about labour and works being covered in an agreed contract) but the policies tend to be quite specific so read the fine print people.
If you’re part of a group home build, insurance will most likely be included in your fee. But if you’re doing a labour only contract like us, or a variation on one, you’ll find part of the contract you sign with your builder (which you now need for works over $30,000 under the Building Act) is an insurance section. Apparently many people overlook this part and come to their insurer once the project has started. But banks usually require a certificate of insurance and most builders will ask for it before they start work.
If you do get burgled on site the advice from the insurers is pretty common sense: contact them asap, call the police, meet with the loss adjustor and go through all the paperwork to itemise and prove what’s gone missing, and have a think about your ongoing site security.
So far, so good for us. We’re meeting with the loss adjuster and our insurance agency NZI, have said it should all be straight forward. In the interim, if you’re building and you get offered these locks in amongst a box full of building goods – call the police – they’ve only been in the country since June so they’re probably ours. And if you get offered a vacuum cleaner hose….well, maybe you can ask the guy why on earth he bothered stealing it.
A family of four: writer, scientist, lego engineer and destruction specialist. Our previous home is featured in New Zealand Interior Style and this new project promises to provide plenty of great, green, smart and maybe madcap solutions to new building in New Zealand.