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Renovating Your Property? Why it’s Vital to Inform Your Insurers.

Living space is one of those things that we could all do with more of. But with property prices still on the rise despite the best efforts of Brexit to dampen the market, and costs of moving taken into consideration not to mention the upheaval, it is no wonder so many people are opting to stay put and make the most out of what they already have.

Extending a home, either upwards, downwards or outwards, has become the preferred choice for many seeking out that additional room to accommodate a growing family and, whilst making the addition, lots of people opt to upgrade the rest of the home too. After all, a fresh look with contemporary styling can be just like moving to a brand new home, and why not contain all the disruption into a single project?

Extensions and refurbishments can also add significantly to the value of a home, offering even further benefits. However, before you get started, there is something extremely important you need to consider: insurance.

So many people overlook the job of informing their insurer in advance of any renovation works they are planning, and don’t realise the importance of updating their cover once the works are completed. However, both of these tasks are essential: here’s why.

Rebuild Costs

Insurers need to know about any renovations that may affect the rebuild cost of your home. Imagine if you are adding a double storey extension and loft conversion. In doing so, you’ve gained a large kitchen diner; a utility room; two further bedrooms, an ensuite shower room and an additional family bathroom. It’s clear to see that the cost to rebuild your property should it suffer structural damage is going to be a good deal more than it was previously.

Remember that the sum insured must cover the full cost of rebuilding your house, including demolition costs and professional fees, so if you have added to its footprint, you’ll likely need to update your cover.

Additional Contents

You should also consider whether your existing contents insurance is providing the cover you need. Does that newly installed 50-inch plasma TV in the kitchen diner fall under your single item limit for example? What about that plush suite in the extended lounge, or those high-end appliances installed in your new kitchen?

After any major refurbishment, make sure you review your contents insurance cover so you can be sure your investment is well protected and be aware that any non-disclosed changes to your property could render your policy void.

Construction Risks

When your property is undergoing any form of improvements, such as refurbishment or extension, you MUST tell your insurer precisely what you are having done ahead of any works commencing as there will be an increased risk of loss.

Accidents are more likely to occur that could damage the structure of the building, and the fact that builders are coming and going with materials left onsite is going to raise the security risk too.

Anything you fail to disclose has the potential to render a policy void, which means if something does happen during refurbishment, such as fire, flood or theft, you may not be paid out on a claim.

The Best Advice

So, make sure you are clear and honest with your insurer as to what is going on within your home. Additionally, if you are not going to be living in the property whilst the works are underway, make sure you are upfront about this too, because if you are staying away from the home for longer than the period allowed in your policy, you could again find your cover invalidated.

Are you about to commence renovation or extension works at your property? If you’re insured through us, be sure to let us know in good time. If you’re not a Robert Gerrard customer and would like to find out more about home insurance cover, please get in touch: we’re here to help.

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