Structural or renovation work on my home, do I need to inform my insurer?

Does building work or renovation work at my home affect my home buildings and contents insurance?

If you are planning on carrying out building work at your property then you need to be aware of the affect this will have on your home insurance. Most insurers will regard renovation or building work at your property as a material change or alteration to the risk and therefore you will be required to disclose this to them. Depending on the nature of the work the property will often be unoccupied during the works which means that a standard home insurance policy is unlikely going to be suitable. Non-standard home insurance is available and you can still have a comprehensive level of cover during building works from a specialist insurance broker.

For work such as building an extension, property renovation, creating a roof in the roof, you will need to advise your insurer of the following;-

The start and completion date of the renovation / building work

The cost of the building work

The nature of the work, i.e. extension, renovation, new electrics / plumbing, replacement kitchen / bathroom(s), building a conservatory, re-roofing, removing supporting or non-supporting walls to change the layout of the property, redecoration etc

The insurer will assess the risk and they will likely wish to cancel the policy and ask you to place the insurance with a specialist property insurer.

For property renovation where there is no structural work, you will still need to disclose all of the work to your insurer. Again, they will likely require the policy to be cancelled and replaced with a specialist insurer. Even renovation works which does not involve structural work can be extensive and take many months so the property will be unoccupied for a long period. If a standard home insurer is willing to continue with the cover they will likely exclude the majority of the cover for the duration of the work until you have moved back in. Not only does this mean you are not insured adequately but you may also be breaking the terms of your mortgage by not having comprehensive buildings insurance in place.

Remember, the property occupancy will be a major factor in the insurer’s attitude towards your building project. So not only does the insurer have to be willing to cover the renovation work but they must also be able to cope with the property being left empty (other than the builders of course) for long periods of time. The builders being there during the day do not qualify the property as being normally occupied so please disclose the occupancy of the property to your insurer correctly or you won’t be covered in the event of a claim!

If you are brave enough to continue to live in the property during the period of the work then you will still need to disclose this to the insurer. Again, they may want to cancel your policy or restrict the cover provided so it is worthwhile seeking specialist building renovation insurance quotes.

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