Home Insurance and building works
Find out how making home improvements, building an extension and converting a loft or basement can affect your Home Insurance.
Rather than moving, many people choose to improve their home, often to increase its value, but also to accommodate a growing family or simply because they fancy an upgrade. Improvements might include updating a bathroom, and creating more space with an extension, a loft or a basement conversion. And they might also have an influence on your Home Insurance.
How can building works affect your Home Insurance?
Any major home improvements you carry out are likely to have an impact on your Home Insurance, both during the construction work itself and in the longer term.
Knocking down walls, reworking plumbing and electrics, and taking up floors all have the potential to cause the kind of damage to your home that could lead to an insurance claim. Similarly, if you have scaffolding outside your home and have builders with spare keys going in and out, the security of your home is at greater risk.
You also need to consider the long-term impact on your Home Insurance before building an extension or making other improvements. Adding extra rooms, fixtures and fittings may increase your insurance premiums, as they could also push up the costs of rebuilding covered by your insurance. And if you add any new furniture or valuables to your extension, you might want to reassess what’s covered by your Contents Insurance.
Notifying your insurer about building work
You should notify your insurer as early as possible if you’re doing any building work on your home – preferably at the planning stage – and keep them updated if anything changes while the work is carried out. If you don’t and something does go wrong during the building process, you may find your policy is invalid.
Make sure to also check that your builder is covered for any damage they may cause to your home during the building work. It’s also worthwhile checking that anyone you hire has references and do indeed know what they’re doing, as poor work or faults that develop later as a result may not be covered by your insurance.
What else should you consider?
- Setting a budget – decide how much you can afford to spend, then ask a few builders how much they would charge for the job. Don’t forget to add any fixtures and fittings you may need to the price. And get a written quote from the builder you choose before they start work, including an estimate of how long they expect the job to take.
- Getting planning permission if you need it – there are numerous rules and regulations around what kind of work will require planning permission, so you should check with your local planning authority. You can find out more at planningportal.co.uk
- Getting building regulation approval – you’ll need evidence of building regulation approval for any work you’ve carried out when you want to sell your home. So, make sure your builder is getting your local authority to check that the work meets their standards of safety and workmanship.
Our Home Insurance and building work
If you’re planning on carrying out some building work and already have your Home Insurance with us it’s important to tell us, as failure to do so can invalidate your policy. Please contact us as soon as possible so we can discuss this with you further and make sure you have the right cover in place.
We’ll need to know whether the work you’re planning has been signed off by your local authority and what the new rebuilding cost of your property would be. Then we can be certain the sum insured is enough to cover you in the event of a claim.
Please note that our Home Insurance – both Buildings and Contents Insurance – doesn't cover you for accidental damage caused by building alterations, renovations, extensions or repairs.
Always be cautious when undertaking any task that you're not fully familiar with as you could injure yourself or those around you, seek professional help where required.
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