Renovation is one of those words that may embrace a whole range of different levels of activity, and there are specialist renovation insurance policies to accommodate. When it comes to renovating a property you own, for example, it might cover anything from:
- a lick of paint and relatively minor redecoration; to
- more serious building work, requiring structural alterations or the addition of an extension; or
- building works so extensive that the property is temporarily uninhabitable (by the owner occupiers or by tenants).
Because of the number of possibilities, it is important to inform your insurers as soon as possible about your proposed renovations. Depending on the extent of the planned works your insurer might:
- agree to the works going ahead without any further cause for concern – in the case of simple redecoration, for example;
- impose certain conditions, restrictions or exclusions on the home insurance or landlords insurance currently protecting then property – in the case of structural alterations; or
- decline further cover of the property or charge an additional premium for continuing to protect the property – in the event of major building works.
For the avoidance of any doubt, to ensure that your property continues to be covered – together with any works that are being carried out during the course of structural alterations of major building works – and to maintain comprehensive insurance during this period, you might want to consider the benefits of purpose deigned renovations insurance.
If no one is to be living in the property during the course of the building works you might also want to consider unoccupied property insurance.
Both renovations insurance and unoccupied property insurance are available from specialist providers – such as those of us here at GSI Insurance – where experience and expertise may be brought to play in ensuring that you secure the appropriate cover for your particular needs and requirements.
The UK website Home Building suggests some of the elements typically covered by renovation insurance and these include:
- protection for the existing structure and fabric of the building;
- any temporary buildings erected on the building site;
- public liability and employer’s liability indemnity;
- building materials, tools and plant;
- personal accident cover; and
- legal expenses insurance.
Getting the job done
When you are satisfied that the property you are about to renovate is adequately safeguarded by suitable renovation insurance, it is time to embark on the works themselves.
This is likely to involve an involved and complicated process of doing careful research into the design, size and building materials you want to use and ensuring that all necessary planning permissions are obtained before the first foundation is laid.
The extent of professional help you are going to need on any project of course depends on the nature of the renovations you are planning to undertake, says a guide published by the BBC. It suggests that some specialists such as carpenters, electricians, roofers and damp-course specialists may give you not only a quote but also their time completely free of charge if there is the prospect of work in the offing. This may save some of the expense of instructing surveyors for everything that is needed.