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About to renovate? Then you MUST inform your insurer


Homeowners in Britain together spent a total of £295 billion renovating their homes over the past five years, according to a figure published by Homes & Property magazine earlier this year..

The reasons are not difficult to understand. Renovation gives you more home for your money. The same source revealed that, by renovating their homes, owners had added as much as £40,000 to the value. Those who chose to go down this route achieved a 10% higher selling price on average than a similar home.

But increasing the value of your investment also means protecting it – and that is why you must inform your insurer if you are about to renovate.

The risks

Renovation materially affects the risks to which your home is exposed. Your home insurer is in the business of protecting you against the risk of loss or damage, so if those risks are materially changed, your insurer demands to know.

As we explain in our online guide to Home Renovation Insurance, your insurer insists on being informed about any renovation work that involves more than a simple lick of paint. If structural alterations are involved – by building an extension or creating a loft conversion, for example – your existing current home insurance may be severely restricted or even lapse. Luckily, that is where specialist home renovation insurance steps in, restoring the full protection you are likely to need.

Home renovation insurance

Home renovation insurance ensures that you continue to be indemnified against loss or damage caused through any structural changes to your home or the work involved during the renovation project.

Builders might be ripping up walls and floors, exposing electricity cable, gas supplies, and water pipes. The risks of gas leaks or an escape of water from ruptured pipes, therefore, increase considerably.

But home renovation insurance does more than protect your home against such structural damage:

Building materials and home contents

  • a significant renovation project leaves your home more vulnerable to theft and vandalism;
  • there are likely to be valuable building materials and equipment on-site while the need to replace doors or windows may increase the likelihood of burglary or vandalism of the contents of your home;
  • as we point out in a series of FAQs on the subject, the risk of burglary and theft increases if there is no one living in your home; and
  • renovation insurance is designed to provide the unoccupied property insurance you might otherwise require when you have vacated your home for the duration of the building works;

Property owners’ liability insurance

  • while the renovation is in progress, there is a higher risk of physical injury or property damage to visitors to the site, neighbours, and even passing members of the public;
  • as the property owner, you may be held liable for the loss or damage suffered in such incidents – and the compensation you are ordered to pay may be substantial;
  • home renovation insurance, therefore, typically ensures that you are adequately indemnified against the risk of such claims.

While renovating your home may significantly increase the market value of your home, remember that the increased risks during building works must be notified to your current insurer and specialist home renovation insurance arranged.