When taking on a renovation or remodelling project of your home, people often forget to review their home insurance cover. Whether you are undertaking a large renovation or small changes, you are likely to be adding to the value of your home and increasing your exposure to risk.
To ensure that your project goes smoothly – and you have the appropriate cover in place – here is what you need to know.
What’s the risk?
Before either you or your contractors begin any work, you should check your home insurance policy. The reason for this is that your policy may not cover works or renovations and therefore any damage that occurs during the process may not be covered.
In fact, 50% of homeowners are unaware that, not only do they need to inform their home insurance provider of any potential building works, but that if they were to carry out the works, the policy may be invalidated.
Building work on properties nearly always increases the risk of damage to the structure and/or its contents. Certain types of alterations to properties, such as knocking down walls and loft conversions, may affect the insurance policy as the building itself is being altered.
If the project involves major works, you may need to temporarily vacate your home whilst the renovations are carried out. A standard home insurance policy is offered on the understanding that the property is occupied permanently (other than for holidays). If you need to move out for a period of time whilst building works are carried out, your policy may not provide cover.
When you inform your home insurance provider of your planned works, you must also tell them whether you are the one managing the project, or if it is being handled by contractors. The type of insurance cover you will need will depend upon who is responsible for the renovations.
For example, even if you are conducting the renovation works yourself, you should consider purchasing public liability insurance to provide cover in the event that you cause injury or damage to your neighbour’s property or other third parties.
What you need to do
Regardless of who is carrying out the renovations, you should provide your home insurance company with the following information:
- The timescale for the work – including a start and end date
- The cost of the project
- A thorough outline of the project
- Names of the individuals/firms conducting the renovations
Talk to FOCUS. We can make sure you have the right home insurance cover in place whilst your renovation project is taking place.
General Home Renovation Guidance
In addition to contacting your home insurance provider, here are some general points to consider before you begin your renovation project:
- Set a hard budget
- Research contractors – and ask for recommendations
- Organise a storage plan for your furniture and possessions – even if this means just moving items to another room in the house.
- Install temporary security devices – such as additional locks and motion-sensor lights