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Will I need to let my insurance company know about renovations?

The short answer is – Yes.

Will I need to let my insurance company know about renovations?

Will I need to let my insurance company know about renovations?

Even if your plans are modest and involve redecoration, a new kitchen, or replacing a bathroom at most, it is still a condition of most policies that an insurer is made aware of this.

While not always the case, extensive structural renovations is usually unacceptable for a standard household policy, and may be better suited on a specialist renovation insurance policy.

If you’re planning to move out of the property for a period while the renovations take place, you may also want more than the standard fire, lightning, explosion, earthquake and aircraft (FLEA) cover that is often the reduced level provided once a home has been unoccupied for more than 30 days.

As you are likely to need to change your current policy for something more specialist, it is worth telling your insurer a few weeks before the project is due to start so that there is plenty of time to make relevant arrangements.

Why are renovations a concern?

The main reason an insurer will choose not to insure a property, whether it be because of renovations or some other cause, is usually because it presents an increased risk to them.

It is also worth remembering that insurers usually have more than one product, so while “Company X” may not be able to fit you on their standard household policy (like you might find on a price comparison website) “Company X” may be able to offer you cover on their specialist renovations product. This product will have a different premium, different levels of cover, and different conditions or requirements. While this sounds complicated, it is usually for mutual benefit. For the insurer, it allows them to charge the right money to account for the higher risk, and for the customer it allows them to buy a policy that exactly meets their needs.

For example with renovations, some of the concerns can include:

  • If a property looks to be a “building site” – i.e. materials on the land, contractors on site during the day, it may become a target for damage from local vandals
  • Building materials, unfitted kitchens, and bathroom suites can be expensive, which can make them attractive to thieves
  • With more people coming on and off site, there is an increased risk of injury
  • Contractors may accidentally cause damage to the property as part of their work
  • Adding structures onto a property can cause cracking in the future, such as settlement
  • Part-built extensions, or replacement of a roof, may mean that a home will not be wind and weathertight for a period
  • New plumbing may fail, causing a leak.

With some of the points above, there may be another insurance policy in place that will cover it, such as a contractor having personal accident cover for anyone working on site. This means that the home insurance would not need to cover this, and you would not be liable. With others, it may be possible for the risk to be reduced, such as the insurer asking that the mains water be switched off if nobody is on sight, or requests that any open are are boarded up, such as the space for a ground floor window, so the inside can’t be accessed.

Arranging a bespoke policy in the event of a renovations policy allows for all eventualities to be covered, and for anyone involved in the project to know where they stand in respect of their requirements.

As a specialist in renovations insurance, GSI Insurance Services (Southern) Ltd. have a wide range of options for any scale of project. Give us a call on 0800 612 9376 or click Get a Quote to complete our online form.

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