What is renovation insurance and what does it cover?

Posted: 8th Jan 2015

Are you planning to renovate your home or to remodel a buy to let property you have bought? If so, is the property adequately protected by the appropriate type of insurance during the course of those works?

The answers to these questions are likely to depend on the type of home insurance or landlords cover you already have, the nature of the building works and a host of other factors.

Indeed, the range of factors you need to take into account may be so complicated that you are better off consulting experienced experts in the provision of a standalone form of renovation insurance – such as that we arrange here at Cover4LetProperty.

Tackling the insurance

If you are contemplating any renovations, therefore, here are a few steps you might want to take in preparation:

  • inform your current home insurer or landlord insurance provider of your plans;
  • if these involve relatively minor renovation and redecoration works, the fact that you have informed the insurer may simply be enough;
  • on the other hand, your insurer may want to impose additional conditions or charge a greater premium for cover for the duration of the works;
  • alternatively – and especially if the property may not be occupied during the building works – your insurer may impose conditions you consider unacceptable or even remove cover altogether;
  • in that event, of course, you are almost certain to consider purpose designed renovation insurance.

What renovation insurance covers

The insurance is designed to extend protection to your property, especially whilst it is unoccupied, during the course of renovation works. However carefully planned or managed those works may be, the chances of their running over the scheduled completion date are relatively high, so you may want cover that may be flexibly extended to reflect the overrunning of the contract.

If you have bought a property to let or to eventually use as your own home with the specific objective of renovating it first, you may find it difficult to secure even renovation insurance. Therefore you might want to turn straight away to a specialist provider capable of providing this type of cover from inception – from the time you buy the property even though you have not lived in it yet or let it to your first tenants.

Renovation insurance policies typically cover loss or damage to both structural and non-structural work – but is generally limited to 50% of the total insured value of the original building concerned (up to £100k). The actual works themselves are typically not covered.

When arranging the cover you might also want to check whether insurance against fire and theft is also included, since not all policies do so.

Another potentially critical aspect of cover is for possible claims involving your public liability for anyone injured or suffering loss or damage to their property as a result of the building works.

You might want to take on board the fact that when structural work to your property is being carried out, any claims relating to subsidence may be specifically excluded.

The website Homebuilding & Renovation explodes a number of myths about the respective responsibilities of property owner and building contractor when it comes to insuring premises in the course of renovations work.