What does renovation insurance cover?

Posted: 24th Aug 2017

Renovation – building works which might include anything from a new extension to refurbishment and remodelling – might transform any property, making it a more pleasant home in which to live, making a buy to let property more attractive to rent, and increasing the overall value of an already substantial investment.

But if you are embarking on such a project, it is also important to ensure that the existing property and the new works are adequately protected by suitable insurance cover – and that cover is called renovation insurance.

What does it cover?

The essential components of renovation insurance typically provide the following:

  • maintaining the safeguards you need to protect the existing structure and fabric of the property – at a time when the risk of damage is heightened during building works;
  • cover for the supplies, materials, plant, equipment and tools you may have onsite;
  • unoccupied property insurance cover to restore the protection you need whilst there is no one living in the building during the renovation works; and
  • sufficient property owner’s liability insurance for indemnity against the increased risk of injury or property damage to third parties visiting the site, neighbours and members of the public.

Please note that the policy does not cover the actual works themselves. Subsidence cover is excluded if structural works are being carried out.

Why is it needed?

Whether you own your own home or are the landlord of buy to let property, any insurer needs to know the use to which the insured property is put and any structural changes, modifications or extension that are built.

As the British Insurance Brokers’ Association BIBA) explains, these are “material facts”, which need to be declared to your insurer and your failure to do so may invalidate your home or landlord insurance.

Anything other than a simple redecoration of your property but one that involves building an extension or remodelling or refurbishment, therefore, must be declared to your insurer.

In view of the increased risks to the property during those building works, the insurer might decline further cover or increase premiums to continue to provide the cover which your home or let property needs throughout the building works.

Because the property is also likely to be unoccupied whilst extensive building works are in progress, your current insurers may respond in a similar way whilst the property remains vacant. An element of specialist unoccupied property insurance is typically therefore required to restore the full cover the building continues to need whilst works are in progress.

Renovation insurance

Specialist renovation insurance aims to cover all of these needs, offering the protection that is needed, yet continuing to provide those safeguards at a competitive price.

Purpose designed renovation insurance also helps to ensure that adequate building insurance is maintained for the property throughout the building works, including those periods when it stands empty and unoccupied, which is almost certain to be demanded in the conditions of any mortgage there is on the property.

The insurance term

Whenever the builders are in, you are likely to have a carefully planned schedule of works that include a completion date. Delays in even the best laid plans occur and building works are notoriously prone to unexpected delays.

To make sure that adequate protection remains in place however long the delay in completion, therefore, renovation insurance is typically flexible enough to allow extensions to the period of cover provided.

Since many such building projects are likely to be completed well within the full year, moreover, renovation insurance is also designed to offer the necessary short-term cover, which may be bought for periods of just three or six months, for instance, rather than the full 12 months customarily required for most other types of general insurance.

If you are about to embark on an exciting new renovation project for your property, therefore, just give us a call or ask for a quote for renovation insurance today.

Further reading: Guide to Renovating