These days, the uncertainties and fluctuations in the housing market might make the notion of renovating or refurbishing your existing home a more attractive option than trying to sell, buy another, and face all the expense of removals. Many of the considerations involved in renovating a property such as renovation insurance, however, apply equally to one that you may have just bought in order to renovate either for your own use or for eventual letting to tenants.
It might be helpful to look at what is likely to be involved – especially with respect to the probable need for renovation insurance:
- whether it is already your own home or one that you need to renovate before moving in, careful planning of course is essential – just as some project advice devised by the BBC suggests;
- that planning needs to embrace not only your own designs for the property but also the planning regulations of your local council and the building control standards with which you need to comply;
- an equally important part of your planning or scoping of the project, of course, is also determining just how much work is involved;
- during that scoping exercise you might also want to consider the role of insurance in protecting the existing structure and fabric of your property, together with the works in progress;
- here at GSI Insurance, for instance, we have stressed the importance of bringing your insurers on board as soon as any type of renovation plan begins to crystallise;
- if the renovations amount to little more than extensive redecoration, your insurer may well simply thank you for the information and you are able to carry on as normal;
- if the renovation involves alteration to the structure and fabric of the existing building – knocking down internal walls, adding an extension or converting the loft, for example – your home insurer may charge a significantly increased premium or completely lift the cover upon which you normally rely;
- in those cases, you might want to give serious consideration to the benefits of renovation insurance;
- just as the name suggests, this is purpose designed cover, arranged on an entirely standalone basis from your existing home buildings and contents insurance;
- renovation insurance may cover a number of different risks – and in exceptional cases may even extend to protecting your position against previous owners’ failure to secure the proper planning permission for work carried out earlier, suggests a particularly detailed guide to renovation published by Hampshire County Council
- more typically, the principal objective of renovation insurance is to safeguard against the risk of structural damage to the existing property, indemnity against potential public liability claims, insurance of the plant, equipment and materials on site during the course of the renovation works and – with some policies – cover for the works currently in progress;
- since any building works have an almost inevitable tendency to overrun their scheduled completion date, you might want to ensure that the renovation insurance you arrange is sufficiently flexible to accommodate last minute extensions to the cover as and when necessary.
If the renovation or refurbishment of your property involves anything more than a simple lick of paint and general maintenance, therefore, you might want to consider the comprehensive cover offered by purpose designed renovation insurance for the duration of the building works.
Further reading with our bespoke Guide to Renovation Insurance.