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Property Renovations Insurance FAQs

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Property Renovations Insurance FAQs

Property Renovations Insurance FAQs

Do I need property renovations insurance?

  • although the law may require that you gain the necessary planning permissions and comply with local building regulations, there is nothing there to insist that you also have property renovations insurance;
  • you should note, however, that any existing buildings insurance you have (which is normally something that your mortgage lender requires as mandatory) may become restricted or even invalid, depending on the scope of works to be carried out:
  • if you decide not to arrange the cover and go ahead regardless, it might turn out to have been a seriously expensive choice.

I already have home insurance – won’t that do?

  • you might already have standard home building and contents cover, but are you certain its protection continues during the building works you have planned?
  • if the structure or fabric of the property is being changed in any way – the layout reconfigured, walls knocked through, extensions built or lofts converted, for example – you may find that your existing home insurance is either no longer valid, is severely restricted or costs a considerably increased premium;
  • despite these facts, the website Property Wire reveals that only 17% of home owners let their insurers know that renovation work is planned or is already in progress.

If my home insurance is not up to the job, what’s the answer?

  • property renovations insurance exists for just the purpose of maintaining the safeguards your property needs whilst the building works are in progress – protecting not only the structure and fabric of the existing building, but also preserving your public liability indemnity;
  • here at GSI Insurance, this is a product in which we have specialist expertise and experience.

But won’t my builders take care of all the insurance issues?

  • although it is important that your builders are properly insured, it is a common mistake to think that their own insurance covers what it is that you need to be protected – your interests are not going to be covered by insurance held by your builder;
  • the theft, loss or damage of items you own – such as building materials, plant or tools used in the renovation works – are not covered by your builder’s insurance and you remain responsible for them;
  • similarly, the builder’s public liability insurance does not extend to indemnity against alleged negligence on your own part – and the third party claims which are likely to follow as a result.

I won’t be living there during the building works, so why do I need special insurance cover?

  • it is precisely for this reason that a specialist form of cover is necessary;
  • an empty building attracts more than its share of increased risks and perils and for that reason home insurers generally regard your standard policy to have lapsed if the building is vacant for more than 30 to 45 days (the time limit depending on the particular insurer;
  • to make up for the removal of that normal safeguard, therefore, standalone unoccupied property insurance is typically required.

So what is covered in the property renovations insurance?

  • with major renovation works you may be running the risk of severe damage to the structure and fabric of the building, so the total sum insured by renovations cover is typically set at the cost of completely rebuilding your home;
  • similarly, cover is provided for the renovated works themselves – typically up to the cost of their complete reinstatement;
  • your property owner’s liability cover – against claims from members of the public – is also preserved and cover typically starts at £1 million;
  • unoccupied property insurance is also typically included in renovations cover;
  • insurance against the theft, loss or damage of your own equipment, plant, tools and building materials from the site is also normally included.
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