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How do renovations affect home insurance?

Renovating your home is stressful and even though you’ll try your hardest to plan, there is always a risk of something going wrong that’s beyond your control. So, it’s always important to have the right insurance in place. Your standard home insurance won’t cover you whilst your having work done so it’s best to look into home renovation insurance. Not only will it cover you for numerous issues under one policy, it will also relieve additional stress as there is only one insurer, one excess and one contact to deal with if you have to make a claim.

In this guide:

Do I need home renovation insurance?

If you’re carrying out renovation works to your home, you may need specialist insurance. It’s important that you notify your home insurer when conducting major house renovations. If you fail to do so, your standard policy could become invalid. This is not the case for minor work such as painting and decorating. However, if you plan to change the structure of your house, for example - knock down walls, it’s important to call your insurer. You may be able to get additional renovation cover directly from your provider as your standard policy will not cover renovation works. For peace of mind, it’s worth being covered for the major renovations to your home.

Renovation insurance is designed to specifically cover:

  • accidents, there is a higher chance of an accident occurring thus a higher chance you’ll make a claim
  • if you leave your house unoccupied for 30 days or more due to the works
  • during the work, you may also have large amounts of expensive equipment and tools at your house that will need to be covered during the renovation period.

If you think you’ll need renovation insurance, you can get a policy from your current home insurer or search for the best deal from multiple insurers on our website.

What is covered in home renovation insurance?

A specialist home renovation insurance policy will cover you for the following:

  • Public liability insurance: This will ensure you are covered if someone is hurt in the house during the renovation (for example a builder)
  • Unoccupied property insurance: As mentioned before if you are conducting major works and can’t stay in your property for more than 30 days, this insurance will cover your home
  • Alternative accommodation: If there is damage to your home during the renovation which means you can no longer stay at your house, the insurance will cover the cost of living elsewhere
  • Building material and equipment cover: This will protect your tools and anything kept at the property during the renovation such as a shower enclosure that’s not been put in place yet.

Should I get accidental damage cover?

If you are renovating your home, it may also be worth considering purchasing accidental damage cover. However, much we hope building work in our homes goes smoothly, there is always a chance something could go wrong. Whether the floor is accidentally scratched, or a fixed appliance is broken, accidental damage cover will ensure you don’t have to pay any more than necessary.

Does DIY put my insurance at risk?

If you’ve been inspired by an episode of grand designs and think you can do your home yourself, you could be in major trouble if it goes wrong. If you create enough damage doing something your pretty under-qualified to do, there is a high chance your insurance won’t cover you. However, if you do decide to purchase accidental damage cover and it’s not major damage you should be fine. And of course, if you're just trying out a bit of plastering, there is no need to call your insurers at all. It may be worth contacting your insurer to find out if the DIY work you’ll be carrying out will be covered.

Do I need to change my insurance after my renovation is finished?

Your new specialist insurance will most likely be able to continue covering you for some time. Don’t be afraid to compare home insurance after the work is done to find the best deal. By renovating your house, you would have added value to your property as well as the value to your household contents, such as new kitchen appliances. So, you will need to make sure you update your policy and have the right insurance that covers everything you own, this may affect the price of your premiums. Consider the renovation as an opportunity to upgrade or even add to home security like a burglar alarm. This small change could have a direct effect on the price of your home insurance, as insurers normally offer a discount to people who have good security.

How much does home renovation insurance cost?

Home renovation insurance costs vary and don’t have a fixed rate. It will depend on the reason you need the cover, the nature of the work, who’s conducting the work and your postcode. The most important thing to remember is to be completely upfront with your insurer about your house and the renovation. If you’re not, you could risk your claim not being accepted.