Does home insurance cover renovations?

5 minute read

Brush covered in pink paint and spilled paint on pale carpet from renovation

Home renovations can be pricey, but even more so when something goes wrong. This is why it’s so important to find out whether your insurance provider can continue to cover your home during building work and alterations. It’s also a good idea to find out what you are and aren’t covered for should an incident occur.

Does home insurance cover DIY?

It can be tricky to know whether your home insurance policy covers certain DIY disasters and renovation incidents. Most policies don’t list specific examples of incidents that are and aren’t covered, so how do you know?

Generally, a standard home insurance policy won’t cover you against DIY disasters. For example, subsidence, which causes a house to sink, is not covered when it’s caused by faulty workmanship or by demolishing or repairing buildings. When damage is caused accidentally to your home or its contents, this will not be covered on your insurance when the damage is caused by:

  • Demolishing, structurally altering or repairing a building
  • Altering, restoring, repairing or maintaining the building
  • Faulty workmanship

You must also consider how long a property can remain empty before the insurance policy becomes void. Most insurance providers state that a property that remains unoccupied or is intended to be left unoccupied, for 60 days or more will not be covered. If the building work requires you to move out temporarily, you must alert your provider of this change, as well as when you expect to move back into the property.

Accidental damage home insurance cover

If you have accidental damage home insurance, you may be covered for some DIY mishaps, such as:

  • Spilling paint on the carpet
  • Cracking your plaster while hammering in a nail

When these incidents occur, the best thing to do is contact your insurance provider and ask if you’re covered before doing anything else. They will be able to advise you on whether they believe you can claim or not.


Do I need to tell my insurance provider if I’m renovating?

Short answer: yes.

Before making any changes to your home, whether it’s something small like repainting or a bigger job, such as knocking down walls, you must tell your home insurance provider. They will need to know exactly what is being done so that they can make any necessary changes to your policy (if required).

If you don’t make them aware, it could mean that your insurance policy is void and you may not be able to make a claim, resulting in expensive repair costs being covered by you.

There’s also an increased risk of damage occurring during building work, and therefore you may need increased insurance cover that could cost a little bit more.


What insurance do I need when renovating a house?

Depending on your insurance provider, the changes that you’re making to your home may already be covered on your current policy. In this case, no changes are needed. Your policy provider may, however, state that the property is not covered while building work is ongoing and therefore you will need to look into taking out additional cover.

There are some specialist renovation insurance providers that can offer you cover. Taking out this kind of insurance is a very good idea, as the building and its contents will be covered against damage, as well as any building materials and equipment that is kept on site.


What to do when the renovations are complete

Once the work on your home is complete, you may need to contact your insurance provider to let them know that the project has finished. They may require some additional information, such as whether you’ve increased the size of your home, the new number of bedrooms and bathrooms if any have been added, additional outbuildings and the updated value of the property and its contents.

Valuing your home’s contents carefully is important. In the case of a claim, you want to be able to receive the correct amount of money back for any goods that were damaged. If, for example, you’ve renovated a kitchen and updated all of the appliances, the total value of your home’s contents will likely have increased. This should be altered on your policy too, and could change the annual premium.

For more advice on protecting and maintaining your home, as well as tips for making the most out of later life, try visiting our Useful Article section.


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