Home Improvement Show a hit for renovators, but homeowners still at risk as insurance provision found to be inadequate
Setting up our stand at the National Home Improvement Show, we were struck by all of the exciting new developments happening in the world of property renovation.
Sadly, one thing doesn’t seem to have changed that much, the often inadequate approach to insurance during the planning stages of a major build. The prevailing theories ranged from; “Surely my building insurance will cover it” through to; “I left it to the contractor”.
Earlier in the year, we ran a survey in partnership with the Sunday Times, to help discover the common approach during renovations. The results were startling as we found:
- 95% of homeowners uninsured during works
- 67 % of homeowners didn’t check if their builder had insurance
- 80% of homeowners had no formal contract with their builder
We re-ran the survey at the show and the results repeated themselves, proving once again, that there is a serious knowledge gap from both the public and the trade in this area. It also became clear that many people were struggling to gain access to the information that would help them best protect their assets during major works.
Time and time and again we were asked: ‘but won’t my home insurance cover it?’ The upsetting reality is probably not; when you undertake major renovation work on a property, most household insurers will reduce cover significantly (to FLEEA) or stop existing cover completely; terrifyingly this will put many homeowners in breach of the terms of their mortgage. Many property owners take a chance and rely on their contractor’s insurance to cover the works element, but a number of areas can be left vulnerable.
There are plenty of options to consider to ensure you are covered and we would (of course) recommend that you speak to a broker to ensure that you get the right insurance for your personal circumstances. Dedicated renovation insurance is typically appropriate for projects that include structural work and or have costs of over £50,000. It gives you full control over the situation and is one less thing to worry about at an already stressful time.
If you missed us at the show, but would like to discuss your renovations project, please get in touch with one of our portfolio managers.
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