Amongst all the details and preparation that needs to be taken on board before extending, renovating or remodelling your home, it might be easy to overlook one important consideration – but if you fail to arrange suitable, specialist insurance for the project, you may do so at your peril.
Home renovation insurance
That particular form of cover is aptly known as home renovation insurance – and you might want to consult a specialist provider to make sure that the cover you arrange offers the protection you need.
Here are some of the reasons why it is important – and why you are likely to need it:
- when you are renovating your home – whether it is ultimately intended for you and your family to occupy or whether you intend to let it to tenants your current insurance is unlikely to continue the cover you need;
- especially if you are building an extension or making any kind of structural alterations, the building insurance of your regular home cover or landlord insurance policy is likely to lapse;
- although the existing building may be more vulnerable to structural damage during such building works, the cover provided by your existing insurance is not there when you most need it;
- quite apart from the financial vulnerability this leaves you if something goes wrong, you are also likely to be in breach of mortgage conditions which typically require that you maintain adequate building insurance at all times – as pointed out in a briefing note published by Citizens’ Advice;
- that vulnerability is compounded by the fact that, during most major renovation projects, your home may be uninhabitable and therefore stands empty and unoccupied for periods longer than a month or two;
- an unoccupied property is yet another reason for most regular insurers of residential or let property to restrict or even cancel the cover which otherwise applies – because of the host of additional risks to which an empty property is vulnerable.
How home renovation insurance works
Domestic renovation insurance is a standalone form of cover which steps up to fill the gaps left by your regular property insurance during the course of renovations – building an extension, for example, refurbishing or remodelling the property or generally renovating it.
It restores the protection needed by your existing property against the risk of structural damage – whether this is caused by the building works themselves or for any other of the typical reasons, such as fire, flooding, impacts, vandalism or theft.
Home insurance when building an extension also provides sufficient unoccupied property insurance to maintain the level of protection which is a condition of your mortgage – not to mention the safeguarding of your own financial interests.
Although it offers standalone cover, home renovation insurance is essentially a temporary form of insurance, which you are likely to need only for the duration of any building works – before you revert to your regular home owner’s or landlord’s insurance, having increased the total building sum insured upon completion of the renovation work.
In some cases, your renovation insurance provider may be able to continue your cover as an owner-occupier home insurance policy or as landlord insurance – saving you time and worry when switching policies.
Reflecting the temporary nature of the cover, home renovation insurance is therefore typically flexible enough to provide cover only for so long as you need it (just three or six months, say, rather than the full 12 months of most other types of insurance cover), but also capable of being extended if the completion date for the building works needs to be delayed or extended.