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Property refurbishment - are you covered to renovate your home?

With summer finally here this tends to be the time of year where many of us start to think about home improvements.

Many homeowners are turning to renovation, no doubt due to the increase of TV programmes that encourage renovating over relocating. In the last 5 years, the number of home improvers in the UK rose from 3% to 15% which represents more than four million UK households. Renovating is a great way to keep up with home fashion trends and ensures your home is kept current and dressed accordingly.

Renovation trends

A recent survey by Hiscox revealed that the bathroom is a renovation priority with 54% of homeowners currently carrying out works or planning them. The kitchen is not far behind at 51%, which isn’t surprising as its considered ‘the heart of the home’.1

Renovation trends change each year. In 2019, designers predict a rise in popularity in dark coloured bathrooms. Along with soft lighting, this gives a spa sensual experience in your own home. Another up and coming trend will be the use of quartz worktops in kitchens and bathrooms and colourful backsplashes in kitchens.2

Renovations are highly likely to increase the value of your prestige home. To ensure you add the highest value to your home, consult with your architect for their advice on the best route to increase the worth of your property.

Will your home insurance provide cover for a renovation?

When planning your renovation, you can quickly get carried away and forget to think about the bigger, more critical things, specifically whether you’re covered by insurance to carry out the work you're intending. 65% of home improvers failed to tell their home insurer they were undertaking a major renovation or extension, which could jeopardise their cover should the works lead to a claim.It’s common that many home insurance policies fall short in relation to covering large refurbs and you may need to take out specific renovation insurance by speaking to brokers that have the expertise to arrange this. 

Most renovation insurance covers:

  • Risks from the building work itself i.e. structural damage, fires or leakages
  • Vandalism or theft of materials and equipment
  • Loss or damage of your possessions
  • Public liability including injury to people involved in or passing by the renovation
  • Damage to any surrounding properties as a result of renovation works
  • Alternative accommodation should damage caused by the works make the property inhabitable

Which kinds of renovations may not be covered by home insurance?

Insurers differentiate what they class as decorating or renovating, mainly it depends on the extent of the costs associated with the works. Renovation generally carries higher risks, which is why you may need specific renovation insurance. Check with your insurance broker in advance of doing any home improvements in case you require extra cover.

Once the works are complete and you are back in enjoying your new look home, it is important you make sure you now have adequate insurance in place. Have you increased the footprint of your home, have you replaced with new and more expensive materials or have you bought more contents to fill the new space? This all needs consideration and it's worth of notifying your broker.

So before your train of thought has left the station and you’re on the tracks to a major renovation, be sure to check your home insurance covers you for the works and if it doesn’t, look into taking out renovation insurance. This way you’re covered against all the risks that renovation may conduct your way. 

Sources
1. Hiscox.co.uk/renovations-extensions-report-2018
2. Ezylet.com/diy-home-improvement/renovating-in-2019

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