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Legal Expenses Insurance

Construction Legal Expenses Cover

New protection for yourself and your livelihood.

It’s an unfortunate reality that one small mistake, error of judgement, injury or perceived piece of bad advice can lead to a claim against your business, or you having to make a claim against a supplier or client – and potentially cost you both professionally and financially.

To help protect you and your business, we have developed Construction Legal Expenses Insurance. This cover gives you access to legal advice, covers your costs and attendance expenses, and your opponent’s costs incurred from an industry-specific contractual dispute with a customer or supplier.

Please note that while this policy shares some commonalities with Management Liability Insurance, they are not the same and one should not be used to substitute the other.

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Events Insured

What you’ll be covered for
As well as giving you access to a dedicated legal team that can advise you on matters relevant to your business, its operations and handling claims, Construction Legal Expenses Insurance covers you for the following costs*:

Before proceedings:
Legal fees and expenses incurred in relation to legal disputes, regulatory inquiries, etc.

During/after proceedings:
Legal fees & expenses and attendance costs incurred in either pursuing or defending your business in ongoing litigation.

Key Cover Benefits

Subject to the full terms, conditions and limits of the policy.

Data Protection
Your and opponent’s costs and expenses in respect of a claim for breach of the Privacy Act or an appeal against enforcement/other notice issued under the Act.

Prosecution Defence
Cover for your costs and expenses of legal action including:

  • Competition and Consumer Act claim;
  • An appeal against improvement/prohibition notice served under the Occupational Health & Safety Act 1991, or corresponding legislation of a State or Territory of the Commonwealth.

Employee Protection
Your and your employee’s expenses incurred from attending a criminal prosecution against the employee, including under the Competition and Consumer Act, due to the employee’s work duties whilst employed by you.

Property Protection
Your costs, attendance expenses and your opponent’s costs due to legal action you’ve pursued due to an act or lapse regarding the business premises and/or goods you own resulting in uninsured financial loss due to damage to that property.

Tenancy Disputes
Your costs, attendance expenses and your opponent’s costs of a legal action by or against your landlord in respect of a claim of breach of the terms contained within the lease or tenancy agreement applying to your business premises.

Statutory Licence Protection
Your costs, attendance expenses and opponent’s costs of a legal action arising from an appeal against suspension, revocation, alteration to the terms or refusal to renew a statutory licence.

Discrimination Protection
Your costs, attendance expenses and your opponent’s costs of a legal action brought against the insured in respect of a claim of infringement of human rights under discrimination legislation, which must not amount to deliberate discrimination.

Other Inquiry Protection
Your costs and attendance expenses in relation to an inquiry not covered under the more specific policy sections.

Tax Disputes and Investigations
Your costs and attendance expenses of a legal action arising from:

  • A GST dispute with the ATO where the ATO is claiming additional GST and there are reasonable grounds for the dispute;
  • A fringe benefits dispute in respect of a claim by the ATO for additional amounts of tax in accordance with the income tax legislation, where there are reasonable grounds for the dispute.

Advice Provider
First point of call for legal advice for your business and its operations.

Legal Advice & Claims Examples

An example of advice you can ask HIAIS-dedicated legal professionals and examples of how the cover responds

Unsatisfactory Subcontractor Job
After the Insured had hired a company to clean the exterior of the office building, some “white specks” appeared on the brickwork that appeared to be salt stains. The Insured called the Telephone Legal Advisory Service to ask how to proceed. The lawyer provided direction to the Insured on how to negotiate with the cleaning company to rectify the damage, including withholding the balance of the invoice until the Insured was satisfied.

Faulty Goods from a supplier
The Insured took delivery of goods from a supplier, but the goods were faulty. The Insured refused to pay the invoice and was taken to court by the supplier. The policy covered the cost of legal representation to defend the action.

Payment Dispute with Homeowner***
The insured was owed a substantial final progress claim by a home owner, who was refusing to pay on the basis that some of the works were defective. The insured lodged a claim against the policy and the cost of legal representation to pursue the outstanding progress claim through the courts was covered.


How do I seek legal advice?
Access to legal advice is included in this policy and can be sought by getting in touch with the team dedicated to handling HIAIS claims. This service provides you with legal advice on any legal issues affecting your business, trade or profession and the cost of this service is covered within the insurance premium.

What are the Limits, Premiums and Excesses of the Policy?
Limits - Up to $100,000 for a single claim, and an aggregate of $250,000 per insured in any one policy period.
Excess - $1000 per claim.
Premium (including GST) - This will be determined by your turnover and will vary as follows:

  • <$1m turnover = <$1200
  • $1.5m turnover = <$1500 
  • $2.5m turnover = <$1600
  • $5m turnover = <$1900 
  • $20m turnover = <$3800
  • $20m+ = determined by getting in touch with a member of our team.

Please note that the above has been included for general guidance and is in respect of base coverage only.

What is not covered or included in the policy?
Please be aware that the following is not included in the policy:

  1. Any claim concerning or arising from subsidence, land heave, land slip, mining or quarrying; and
  2. All costs and attendance expenses in relation to private, non-business-related legal claims; and
  3. Debt recovery actions.

Please note that this policy has many general and section-specific exclusions. For a detailed list of all exclusions, please refer to the policy wording , or contact HIAIS today.


*Subject to the full terms, conditions and limits of the policy.
**This is based on most open market Management Liability policies and that the inclusion of Legal Advice will vary depending on the provider of the policy. We recommend checking the policy wording to verify if this is included or not prior to purchasing.
*** Legal assistance is not available for claims with value less than $5,000, where the dispute arises less than 90 days from the policy inception or where the claim is a pure debt recovery action.

Construction Legal Expenses Insurance for the Building and Construction Industry is arranged by HIAIS via a wholesale market, One Underwriting Pty Ltd ABN 50 006 767 540 AFSL no. 236 653 (One Underwriting). One Underwriting is a Lloyd’s Coverholder and acts on behalf of Certain Underwriters at Lloyds through the Channel Syndicate. If you purchase this insurance through HIAIS, both One Underwriting and HIAIS will receive a commission that is a percentage of the premium. Further information can be found in HIAIS’ FSG or provided upon request. The information contained in this webpage is general in nature and should not be relied on as advice (personal or otherwise) because your personal needs, objectives and financial situation have not been considered. It is not intended to be comprehensive, nor does it, or should it (under any circumstances) be construed as constituting legal advice. You should seek independent legal or other professional advice before acting or relying on any of the content of this information. Before deciding whether a product is right for you, please consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement (if applicable) and full policy terms and conditions available from HIAIS on request. All representations on this webpage in relation to the insurance products HIAIS arrange are subject to the full terms and conditions of the relevant policy. Please contact HIAIS if you have any queries.

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