Most people when undertaking renovation or conversion projects aren’t even aware that they need to make their Household insurers aware. Depending on the extent of the work to be carried out some insurers will restrict the cover on the policy or even exclude cover if the property is going to be unoccupied for a period of time. That means there’s potentially a huge number of renovators going about their projects without the right protection in place.
There are a number of things to think about when insuring a property during a renovation project and before commencing with any building works, property owners should start by consulting their current insurance provider who will usually want to know the following in relation to the works:
- The estimated cost
- A description of the work to be done
- Duration of the works/contract
- Occupancy of the property
- Type of contract in place
- Who will be carrying out the work ie Contractors
Most insurance providers can cater for a small amount of works if they are of a decorative nature, however, when the works reach a certain cost or the type of works are of a more complex nature e.g. structural, cover can be restricted or withdrawn completely. If your existing policy is restricted during the works, one of the things you may see is an exclusion applying when damage is caused by the works. In this instance you will be relying on the Contractors Public Liability policy to cover any potential loss.
Below is an example of when this could cause a problem:
“The contractor is carrying out electrical and heating installation at the property. Overnight, a fire starts causing major damage. The cause is undetermined and a stalemate commences between the Contractor’s Insurer and your property Insurer. The Contractor must be proved negligent to be liable for the damage and the property Insurer will enforce the exclusion stating damage was caused by the works.”
A scenario like this can drag on for several months, whereas a specialist renovation policy will respond in the event of a loss, regardless of who is at fault.
If your insurers will not continue with your cover during the project or the restrictions/exclusions are not acceptable to you there are specialist policies available covering Projects such as
- New builds
- Contract works
The main features of this insurance are:-
- Covers your Existing Structure & New Works
- Flexible cover periods to fit the length of your project – from 1 month
- Policies are extendable
- Public Liability
- Residential / commercial properties
- Occupied and unoccupied properties
- Joint Names cover available when required
You also need to be aware of any restrictions that may apply to your Contents insurance during the project.
If you are living on site during the renovations, normal contents insurers will consider providing cover as alterations to the property should not affect the contents as significantly as the Building. However, there may be an increased risk of accidental damage to carpets and furniture so you can expect to see the ‘damage caused by the works’ exclusion added so make s
Moving out during the works means most contents insurers will cancel or restrict their cover. In this situation, cover can be provided by specialist insurers, however, most will only cover general furniture not any valuables remaining on site.
Some Homeowners will put their contents into storage during the works and storage companies can provide insurance for the contents as part of the storage cost. Alternatively we can offer a specialist contents policy to cover your goods whilst in storage.
There are many things to consider before starting any project but one of the most important is insurance. Your property is your most valuable asset and it is essential to ensure the correct cover is in place to give you peace of mind during this period.