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Planning a property renovation? Are you aware of the insurance risks?

When you’re planning a home renovation project, there are many things to consider. From engaging an architect, getting quotes and choosing a builder, to finding the perfect interior décor and furniture to complete your dream home. However, one of the most important considerations that often gets overlooked, is your home insurance.

Your home is likely to be your most valuable asset. When you undertake renovations, this asset is at a much greater risk of damage or loss. Should something go wrong, the costs could be crippling and the emotional impact devastating.

Your existing cover

The majority of people planning renovation works either haven’t heard of renovation insurance or don’t think they need it. There is an assumption that their existing home insurance is suitable and will pay out for any damage that occurs during the works – sadly, this is often not the case.

Whilst some insurance policies allow you to carry out works up to a certain value, the reality is that many standard home insurance policies do not provide any form of cover for renovation works, meaning that the usual risks such as fire, theft or water damage will not be covered whilst the improvement or extension works are being carried out. In fact, it is the policyholder’s responsibility to inform your insurer of any planned works, as in most instances, your home insurance is invalidated if you do not tell them.

Furthermore, if you need to move out whilst the work is taking place, most standard home insurance policies do not provide unoccupied cover – or if they do, it’s often for a limited period of time.

Builders insurance

It’s also often assumed that any contractors you engage to carry out your home improvements or renovations will be adequately insured to protect you and your property.  However, as an example, damage may occur to your property that is not the result of the builder’s negligence, such as a wall cracking as an old extension is being demolished. Even though it is still caused by the renovations, the builder is not at fault, hence their insurer will not cover the resulting damage.

It’s important to be aware that if you are acting as project manager or are involved in any aspect of managing the contractors on site, you could be liable for any damages or accidents if something goes wrong.

Renovation insurance

Having the right insurance in place is vital. Without it you are leaving yourself exposed to significant financial risks and facing a long, emotionally painful road ahead should something go wrong during the works.

Renovation insurance provides you with the peace of mind that you have the right cover in place should you need to make a claim. Tailored to your specific project, it provides cover for your existing structure, contract works, homeowners liability and rebuild costs.

And please remember, even if it’s a simple extension, the rebuild value of your home could well increase. If the number of bedrooms has changed, this could also have an impact on your home insurance therefore be sure to speak to your insurer to inform them of any structural changes.

To make sure you understand the insurance risks involved with a renovation project, please reach out to us, we would be delighted to help.