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Insurance of the works

Insurance of the works or "Dommages ouvrages" (DO) is used to protect the works in the interests of the client.

This is an insurance policy to be taken out by the client before the start of building works on site. It involves having a design from which to build so that the insurer can understand the construction.  It is a legal requirement but, although criminal proceedings would not apply to private individuals, the absence of this type of policy can prevent any future sale of the property.  Its purpose it to guarantee the payment of any repair works that might arise due to damage for which the builders are responsable (in accordance with Article 1792 and French civil law).  It enables any repair work to be carried out quickly without having to pursue the builder or builders through legal proceedings. That is left to the insurance companies.

It generally concerns works that can compromise the structural integrity of the construction, such as new structure or structural modifications, but could include for example works affecting a piece of equipment that makes the construction unfit for purpose, foundations, roof or the building envelope.

Marchand TowerRenovation of a high rise building near Paris

The guarantee applies during the ten years which follow the "reception" or handover of the works at practical completion with a particular difference during the first year or the 'defects liability period'.
Normally during the defects liability period the client can request the contractor to make good any defect, but this insurance policy can be used to place an injunction on the company to repair the works within a set time period or failing this within 90 days.  It should be noted that the guarantee can apply during the works when, after an injunction remains unfruitful, the contract with the contractor is cancelled for failing to carry out its obligation to repair.

The obligatory guarantee outlined above can be complemented by the following policies :

  • Risk against equipment malfonctioning (article 1792.3 of French civil law) - biennial
  • Consequential damages resulting from guaranteed material works after practical completion
  • If necessary, damage to existing construction resulting from new works after their handover
  • These additional policies are generally imposed by the Insurance company. 

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