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I’m redecorating – Do I need specialist insurance?

If you’ve got a large renovation project planned, you may find that you’ve had to arrange a specialist renovations insurance instead.

I’m redecorating – Do I need specialist insurance?

I’m redecorating – Do I need specialist insurance?

It is also worth stating that in most property insurance policies, there are conditions where you need to let your insurers know about any changes in circumstances, such as a period of unoccupancy, or if you’re planning to carry out any renovations or improvements.

Essentially, you may not need a specialist insurance policy, but you definitely need to let them know.

The reason for this comes down to risk, which is what an insurance company assesses to decide on the premium, excesses, and terms that they offer you. Therefore if the risk changes during the year, they may have to make some adjustments to ensure that the policy you have is giving them suitable protection, as well as the right cover for your needs.

This applies in the smallest of jobs, even re-painting a single wall. If you have contents cover in place, you may have been offered the chance to pay extra for accidental damage. One of the examples the agent may have given you is that it’d provide cover if you spilled paint on a carpet or sofa. Therefore if you knocked your paint over, it could damage a carpet, which results in a claim on your policy that the insurer would have to pay out for.

As we said right at the beginning, if you’re only planning to paint one wall, it’s unlikely your insurance policy would need to be changed. However if they ask you to let them know about any renovation and you don’t, it gives them the ability to turn away your claim or even cancel your policy as you have effectively breached the terms of your agreement with them.

It’s also worth remembering that everyone has their own definition of renovations, and it’s not unheard of for a client to add an £100,000 extension to their property without thinking anything of it. This will probably only come to light at renewal, when the client’s insurer checks through their details and finds out the property has one more bedroom than it did at the start of the year. To remove any doubt, the insurer asks that any and all work be referred to them, and they can make decisions on a case-by-case basis that way.

Who will be doing the work is also a factor. If you’re not very handy with DIY, or you’re dealing with something more specialist like laying carpet or installing a bathroom, you may have outside contractors coming into your home. Again while this may not need specialist insurance in itself, especially for smaller jobs, your insurance company will probably want to exclude theft for people you have let into your home willingly (you may hear the term “theft is restricted to forcible or violent entry only”) and also specify that they will not be responsible for any damage the contractors cause.

This is because contractors can arrange public liability insurance for any damage they cause to other people, so while your insurance company isn’t providing the cover, it can still be claimed for elsewhere.

With any luck, your current company will be able to accommodate you without too many problems, but it’s worth keeping in mind that if your renovations will cost more than £25,000, or there is any structural work happening, it’s unlikely to class as redecoration and you may need more specialist renovation insurance.

GSI Insurance Services (Southern) Ltd. are specialists in providing renovations insurance, as well as working with a number of understanding insurers for let properties or your own home. Whatever your plans are now, or in the future, we will be able to talk you through all of the appropriate options and find the best approach both now, and when your works start. Give us a call on 0800 612 9376 or click “Get a Quote” to fill in our online form.

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Why not read one of our other renovation insurance guides?

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