Make sure you are insured before improving your home. It could save you a fortune.
Insurance isn’t the first thing most people think of when they renovate their property. Perhaps it should be.
Even before the stage of getting a kitchen fitter in your home or seeking planning permission for an extension, you should check to see if you are insured. This applies both to when the work is being carried out, and when it is completed.
Why does it matter?
There are three main things to think about here:
• While works are being carried out, your property is vulnerable. Tradespeople come and go as they carry out work. Parts of the building could be exposed to the elements while renovations or repairs are undertaken.
• If you haven’t told your insurer, will you be covered for theft or damage to your property?
• If you make substantial changes to your buildings or contents by improving your property, will your insurance cover them when the work is complete? Will you get the full amount of cover that you need?
What do I need to tell my insurer?
All kinds of home improvement work can change the value of your property and its risk to insurers. They’ll initially need to know how long the work will take to complete, before knowing what the work being carried out is.
Cosmetic improvements are generally not worth telling your insurer about, although you do need to be wary that large-scale DIY projects – where a qualified tradesperson should really be used – could be a cause of concern for insurers.
Common home improvements that your insurer may need to be aware of include:
• New kitchens and bathrooms
• Installing solar panels
• Knocking through rooms
• Loft conversions
• Rewiring or replumbing
• Changing the purpose of rooms in the house (e.g. adding an extra bedroom)
If in doubt about anything, just call us so we can see if your insurance provides cover.
Our checklist to make sure you get the insurance you need
Whether you’re looking to improve your own home, or you’re a landlord looking to carry out work on your property, talk to us first!
Follow our five-point checklist to make sure you’re properly insured before improving or renovating your property:
1. Before you start work, speak to us. If you start work without your insurer knowing, you may find that your property isn’t covered if you come to make a claim. Don’t fall foul of this. We can help to make sure you’ve got the cover you need during works – whether you’re an existing customer, or looking to insure with us for the first time.
2. Don’t wait until your insurance renewal. If you wait until your insurance renewal to explain substantial work has already been carried out, your existing insurer might not be able to help you. The risk to them has changed. This means you would need to find cover elsewhere.
3. Are you staying at home or moving out? When major work like a home extension is undertaken, it’s often easier to leave the property empty and let the builders get on with it. Unfortunately, not all insurers are keen on property being unoccupied for a long time. There could be an increased likelihood of an issue occurring (e.g. escape of water from a burst pipe) and not being seen for some time. There’s also the possibility of theft from an unoccupied property. Speak to us about cover in these circumstances.
4. How much are you spending on improvements? If you are increasing the value of your property and/or furnishing it with more items, then you’ll need insurance that covers the extra amount of buildings or contents cover needed. Look to see how much this might cost before you set out doing additional work.
5. Who is carrying out the work? Are they insured? Builders should have public liability insurance, in case of injury while they are carrying out work on your property. You should be careful to instruct builders who are reputable and possibly part of a network like Rated People, where you can compare reviews of local tradespeople.
If you’re thinking of extending your property, read our separate guide about what you need to tell your insurer when extending your home.
What’s the worst that can happen?
Fire. Flooding. Break-in. A roof or wall collapses.
All risks that might normally be covered by your insurance. But will they be covered while improving or renovating a property?
Think how costly this could be if any of these incidents were to happen. Now imagine not being insured.
The cost of additional insurance that may be required while renovating a property could pale in significance against the cost of having to find the money to rectify these issues yourself.
You could even be breaking the conditions of any mortgage agreement, by invalidating your buildings insurance policy.
That’s why it’s worth taking out the right insurance before you even start home improvements.
The good news
Quoteline Direct can provide you with insurance options if you’re looking to renovate property.
Speak to us about your circumstances, and we’ll search for the right provider from our insurance panel to meet your needs.
We may be able to help you by finding insurance for unoccupied property under renovation, for example. Terms may be applied, but this is where speaking to us helps, so we can look for the insurance that matches your needs.
How do I get insurance when renovating my property?
If you’re looking for insurance for your own home during and after improvements, call us on 0161 874 3599.
Or if you’re a landlord looking to revamp your property, call 0161 874 7787 to speak to us about your options.
And if you’re not already insured with us, get a quote online now:
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