On standard four-bedroom period homes, basement conversions can increase value by around 15 per cent
Basement digging isn’t a new thing but in the last 5 years the capital has seen a 140% increase in basement planning applications and the trend has now firmly taken hold of the rest of the country. In central London space is at a premium and digging down can increase the value of a property by millions of pounds. Elsewhere in the country people are simply enjoying the luxury of additional space to create the home they’ve always dreamed of.
Whilst the advantages of digging basements are obvious, there are also some very serious potential issues like flooding, sink holes and structural damage to neighbouring buildings, which is why it is so important to be properly insured during any basement works.
- Always contact your home insurer before starting works; most insurers will say that they cannot provide cover for basement digs.
- Make sure you have a formal contract with your builder, we suggest a Joint Contract Tribunal (JCT).
- Check your builder’s insurance to make sure it’s appropriate and up to date, you can ask your broker with help here.
- Take out specific Renovation insurance that can properly cover you while digging a basement, if something goes wrong you do not want any holes in your cover!
- Talk to your insurance broker about Non-negligent Party Wall Insurance; this is specifically useful during basement works where digging can cause damage to a neighbouring property.
- Ask your builder about Structural Warranties for after the works have finished.
Insurers do always seem to be doom and gloom but the harsh reality is that with basements, if it goes wrong it’s likely to go very wrong with claims in the tens of thousands of pounds range.
When undertaking such a potentially difficult project it’s so important to speak to an insurance broker who can guide you through the whole process. The Sunday Times have asked Insurance Tailors for advice on insuring basement digs in the past and so should you. Email us on firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 0207 199 3528.