Do I need renovation insurance?
It all depends on the extent of the renovations to your property you have in mind.
If all you are planning is to spruce up the building with a lick of paint and overall redecoration, specialist renovation insurance is unlikely to be required. If it is anything more extensive, however, you may need this extra form of protection.
The answer is to consult your current insurer, outline your proposals, and ask what impact the works may have on the existing level of cover.
Before you start any renovation work, you also need to check whether planning permission is required. The government’s Planning Portal is able to help guide you through the necessary steps.
Why might renovations impact on my current insurance?
Anything which changes the risks has an impact on any existing insurance cover you may have.
Renovations change those risks – in so far as the structure and fabric of the building itself is being altered, the dangers of injury or property damage to members of the public and visitors to the site increase, the property is likely to be unoccupied during extensive renovation work, and there are typically many tools, pieces of equipment and materials on site and at risk of loss, theft or damage.
For a more detailed consideration of the potential impacts on your property and its insurance, you might want to read our own Guide to Property Renovation.
What type of property can be covered by renovation insurance?
Whether you are an owner occupier or the landlord of buy to let property, renovation insurance helps to maintain the protection your property needs during the course of any renovation work.
What does renovation insurance cover?
The details naturally vary from one policy to another, but the key elements to look for may be summarised as follows:
- protection of the existing structure and fabric of the building – the risk of damage to the existing structure is one of the main reasons why standard home insurance specifically excludes damage caused whilst adding extensions, making conversions or other structural alterations;
- public liability indemnity – as the owner of the property, you may be held liable for injuries suffered by members of the public, visitors to the site or workmen on the site and this element of cover is designed to provide you indemnity in the event of a claim;
- plant, equipment, tools and materials – any of these items which you own are of course at risk of being lost, stolen or damaged and renovation insurance typically provides protection against such risks.
How long does renovation insurance last?
When planning your renovation works, you are likely to have agreed with your contractors a schedule and timescale for the project. This is typically used to determine the period of renovation insurance you require – before reverting back to your standard home or landlord’s insurance.
Even the most carefully managed projects, however, have a tendency to overrun and overshoot estimated completion dates. Renovation insurance is therefore typically flexible enough to allow you to extend the period of cover to meet any changed deadlines.