If you are trying to renovate your property, either your own home or a let property, there are a number of considerations you might want to take into account when looking for the appropriate insurance cover.
Keeping your insurer in the picture
It is important to keep your existing home insurer or landlord insurance provider fully informed about any changes you are planning to make to your property
This includes any kind of renovation project, whether it amounts to redecoration, remodelling, the addition of an extension or a full-scale reformation of the property. The more extensive the amount of work, the more it important it may be to keep your insurer informed so that:
- a note is made concerning your policy of the works intended; or
- any special conditions may be attached to the cover presently in place; or
- you might be advised of any additional premium payable; or
- your insurer might decide that cover may no longer be offered in the light of the planned works.
Perhaps the most important point to bear in mind is the limitation imposed by your regular home insurance or landlord insurance when your home is deemed to be unoccupied.
Depending on your particular insurer, this might be as soon as 30 (or sometimes 45) days when no one has been living there – and even though you, your builders and other tradesmen may be at the property practically every day. More to the point, however, your regular insurer is likely to reduce or severely restrict the level of cover once the property is classified as unoccupied while you renovate your property.
The reason for this action is primarily because an empty property is exposed to greater risk than one that is occupied. According to a story in the Herts and Essex Observer recently, for example, police attribute a rising tide of crime principally associated with empty properties, especially during the shorter daylight hours of autumn and winter.
Renovation insurance helps to restore the comprehensive level of protection you are likely to require for your property during any building works
Whilst building works are in progress, you may also face greater risk as the owner of the property concerned, of claims on your public liability.
For this reason insurance during such renovations typically includes public liability cover of at least £1 million – a standard that is met by the policies we provide at GSI Insurance.
Specialist insurance during the course of any renovation is also likely to be important in maintaining cover for the structure and fabric of the existing building, which might be damaged during the course of the building works.
Although some types of renovation insurance are limited to cover for the existing building, others extend that cover to the new works themselves.
There are few renovation projects, it seems, which run entirely to schedule and do not overshoot the anticipated completion date. When arranging your insurance cover, therefore, you may want to look for a flexible policy that allows additional months to be added if need be while you renovate your property.
Once the works are finally completed, of course, you are likely to want to reinstate cover for your improved new home – a satisfactory performance on the part of your renovation insurance provider may well be a key to reinstating those household or landlord insurance policies.