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A guide to insuring your renovation project

When embarking on your renovation project, it is essential to consider your home insurance to ensure that you avoid additional problems.

4 min read

Renovating your home is an exciting prospect but all too often there can be surprises along the way that can dampen spirits a little. To counter any additional disturbances, it’s worth considering your home insurance and how any construction could impact your current policy and what it might mean for you. Here, we’ve broken down what you need to know to get that all-important peace of mind.

What is home renovation insurance?

Home renovation insurance is there to protect your home and its contents while you’re under construction. Standard home insurance generally only covers small renovations like redecorating but not for the higher-risk work of extensions or structural works – this is where home renovation insurance steps in. Each plan varies but it should cover the following factors until your work is complete:

  • Damage to the property’s structure
  • Damage to the property’s contents (can include damage through fire or flooding or theft)
  • Damage to neighbour’s property
  • Alternative accommodation if propety becomes uninhabitable
  • Unoccupied property insurance if property is uninhabitabitable for 30+ days
  • Public liability cover in case of injury
  • Theft of equipment, materials and tools

Which renovation projects need renovation insurance?

For any renovations that affect the structure of your building, we highly recommend looking into home renovation insurance. This covers extending, remodelling and conversions. It’s unlikely that your standard home insurance will cover the significant risks involved with building works. Speak to your existing provider to see if any additional renovation cover is available before proceeding.

5 important things to consider when insuring your project:

What to consider for insuring your renovation project

#1 What is the total value of your renovation?

As a general rule of thumb, if your project costs over £25k it’s advisable to get home renovation insurance. Having the correct insurance can allow your project to be resumed as soon as possible.

#2 What insurance should you make sure your contractors have?

Louise Kerridge, Team Leader at Renovation Plan, advises: ‘Any contractor working on site must have at least £2m Public liability cover, to cover their damage or injury to 3rd party property or person(s). They may also have ‘contractors all risks cover’ which is a more comprehensive policy & will normally cover the contractors employees too as well as materials bought for your site if you are not purchasing directly.’

Most contractors will have their own Public Liability cover. Any reputable building company will have a policy in place to cover their sites and you’re within your rights to ask to see it. Public Liability cover is vital for your contractor or subcontractor – without it, your contractor or subcontractors could be personally liable for any damages or injuries caused while carrying out their work. If the property is damaged or a serious injury is sustained during construction, the costs could be astronomical as well as causing problems for you.

#3 Have you had to make any insurance claims to your home prior to the project?

It’s important to inform your provider if you’ve previously made a claim on your home insurance. This is so they can do the correct calculations to ensure you’re properly covered considering all the factors. These claims can be anything from subsidence to flooding and theft, as they will inform how risky and therefore potentially expensive a project could be.

#4 Is there any reason your project may be delayed?

While this can seem like asking ‘how long is a piece of string?’, it will be helpful to consider whether there are any factors between you and your contractor that could cause delays. If delays do occur, you may need to inform your provider and extend your home renovation insurance to keep you covered until the project is finalised.

#5 What risks are most common and how to prevent them:

Getting insured against the most common risks is always the best option but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take precautions to prevent an incident that may inconvenience your project.

- Theft: One of the most common risks with home renovations is theft of construction materials or tools and the damage caused when gaining entry! While there’s sadly no way of preventing all threats of theft, it could be beneficial to install an alarm and security system.
- Contents: To keep your valuable contents safe, keep them suitably covered in secure locations to avoid any potential impact. This could be dust sheets for furniture or keeping artwork at a loved one’s home during construction.
- Escape of water: Sometimes incidents like burst water pipes are unavoidable but their impact can be minimised if you have regular checks and learn practical skills like where to locate your water shut-off valve and how to operate it.
- Fall from height: Unsafe conditions can occasionally result in dangerous accidents for contractors’ employees so it’s really important that the work is properly planned, supervised and carried out by competent people. Make sure you do background checks, read reviews and get expert advice before moving forward.

Get a free guide to insuring a renovation project provided by the knowledgeable team at Renovation Plan here.

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