Don’t invalidate your insurance during building and refurbishment
11 Nov 2013
If you're about to have any building or refurbishment work carried out on your property, be careful not to accidentally invalidate your home insurance in the process.
The best way to avoid this happening is to notify us in advance of any planned works, so that we can advise if you need any additional cover for the duration.
It is important that we are notified before you enter in to a contract with the contractor to ensure that your insurer is happy with the requirements that may be placed on you by your contract, in terms of the insurance cover. Although each insurer has different limits and wording, notifying them in advance will be a condition of their policy.
If an extension or modification involves works to a load-bearing wall, this could mean an increased risk to the propertyandto the people inside. Failure to inform the insurer of any structural changes could invalidate any future claims, and the cost of making good could end up falling on you.
If external walls, windows or doors are removed during any building works, your home will be more vulnerable to burglary and the elements. Therefore, it is important to contact us to find out whether you'll still be covered during this period. Different insurers may have different rules in this regard, so you may have short-term restrictions placed on your cover or your premiums may temporarily rise.
Also, if an extension features new doorways and windows, you should contact us with updated details of the types of locks, security measures in place etc.
Whether you've extended the kitchen, built a conservatory or added a whole new wing to your home, don't forget to upgrade your buildings insurance to cover the increased rebuild cost. If you're unsure of the cost you can get a quote from a surveyor. However, some insurers will provide a complimentary survey, so contact us in the first instance and we can advise you on this. Increasing buildings cover is vital because in the event of any claim the insurance company may only pay out for the proportion of the house you are actually insured for.
Basically, it's in a homeowner's interest to make sure their property remains adequately covered during and after any home improvements - it's the best way to avoid being left with a hefty bill should property damage or a break-in occur.
It's not just your insurance you need to check. If you're getting builders in to do the work, check that they have adequate 'public liability' insurance. This is designed to cover damage that builders may cause to your home, your neighbour's property or the street outside. Don't just assume that the builder will be covering the works and materials themselves - you may need us to arrange this cover for you.
Just give us a call and we will be happy to help you with any queries you may have.