A simples guide

Home Renovation Insurance

Renovating your home can be extremely exciting and very rewarding, but is often a naturally stressful experience. There are plenty of things that can go wrong in both minor or major home improvements, but what happens when they do?


Well, there are two things to consider. Will your home improvements affect your home insurance cover? And do you need accidental damage cover while the work is being completed?  Here, the key is to plan ahead and make sure you’ve considered the above before you embark on any renovating.

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When should you inform your insurance provider of home improvements?

The best way to make sure that you are protected is to inform your insurance provider of any expected home improvements that involve building, excavation, or alteration before the work begins. They will want to know what work will be carried out in detail so that they can assess the risk to the property and the potential extra value that could be added once the work is completed.

Remember: If your home renovations involve any structural changes, there are plenty of other things you’ll need to consider before you start work and you may need to secure planning permission first. (Read our home improvement vs moving guide before you take the plunge!)

Do you need to declare minor home improvements with your insurance provider?

Some minor works may not necessarily require you to inform your insurance provider, given they are likely to have very little impact on the structure of your property. But it may be worthwhile checking in with your insurance provider and make sure you’re covered for accidental damage if you’re undertaking some DIY yourself - you don't want to be underinsured.

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What could happen if you don’t inform your insurance provider of home improvements?

If you did not inform your insurance provider ahead of the building work and needed to make a claim for anything, you may find that your insurance provider will not pay out on this basis that the property wasn’t in the same condition as stated in your current policy. You may also find that, depending on your policy, you may be covered for some things and not others and if you haven’t had the conversation beforehand with your provider, this might not have been flagged.

How do home improvements affect home insurance costs?

Home improvements may have an effect on the valuation of your property, therefore changes that you make could have an impact on the level of cover you need to protect your home. Your home insurance policy is designed to cover the cost of damages to your home; so naturally if your house increases in value and it would cost more to rebuild in the event of a claim then you need to make sure your sum insured is sufficient to cover the additional rebuild costs.  It would be a good idea to account for this additional expense in advance of conducting the work so there aren’t any surprises once the work is completed.

Do you need accidental damage cover on your home insurance?

Accidental damage is a great way to ensure that you are protected if anything goes wrong. Whilst you may be great with a hammer and nails, are you confident that you can cover the cost of any damage you cause? Accidental damage cover can help relieve that financial pressure, ensuring that you are protected for the worst case scenario.

Whilst you don’t necessarily need to have accidental damage insurance, it makes a lot of sense to invest in such cover – especially if you are looking to make home improvements.

What are the implications of leaving your home whilst construction is undertaken?

If you are planning to leave your property while work is going on, you may need to check your home insurance policy because leaving your property unoccupied could affect any potential claims that you need to make.

In most home insurance policies, there will be a clause stating how long you leave your property unoccupied before the level of cover provided is reduced. Most insurance providers set this at 30 days. Make sure that you have checked your policy carefully if you’re likely to be leaving your house for a long period of time and advise your insurance provider.

Should the time not be suitable for the length of construction being undertaken, you can often request an extended period from your insurance provider. Most insurance companies will extend this period by up to three additional months. 

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Could you benefit from any other additional insurance?

Legal cover could be a benefit to you should you have any problems with the construction company completing the job. If the company was to go bust after completing a bodged job, legal cover could help you reclaim any money you’ve invested.

Where can you get the best deal on my home insurance?

If you are looking for a home insurance policy to cover your home improvements, you can search for the level of cover that best suits you and compare quotes from a range of leading providers. We can show you a range of policies from our panel of home insurance providers and you could find a policy that’s right for you.

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