Wasim Bux, from home insurance provider iGO4, offers his advice for property owners looking to make improvements without invalidating their insurance.
Home improvements are a great way to increase property value. However, many invalidate your home insurance policy, which means that your claim could be denied if the worst should happen. Some insurers may also add endorsements to your policy that restrict cover during building work, so it’s best to play it safe and keep them in the loop to prevent any surprises.
The cost, risk, and value of your project are all taken into account by your insurer, so it’s best to bear these in mind when planning any home improvements.
Extensions and conversions
You are expected to tell your insurer if you plan an extension that affects the structure and layout of your property, including a loft conversion. This is because the additional space can add value to your home, meaning you may have to pay more for both building and contents insurance.
Kitchens and bathrooms
Most of the time, re-doing an existing kitchen or bathroom unit won’t have an impact, but different providers will have different policies so it’s best to keep them informed. Adding additional bathrooms, however, is factored into your premium so these improvements should be declared.
It’s very unlikely that gardening and landscaping will affect your home insurance, and that includes work such as paving, ponds and sheds. However, your provider should be made aware of your plans for significant construction such as outbuildings and conservatories.
Windows and glazing
Swapping individual windows from single to double glazing won’t affect your premium, as this is a small alteration, but undertaking a major renovation to all your windows could have an impact so be sure to ask your provider.
You should let your insurer know if work is about to take place that includes rewiring, replumbing, or alterations to those two systems. This is because, in extreme cases, work on electrics and plumbing can lead to fire and water damage which is costly to cover.
Following the tips in this guide can help you avoid invalidating your home insurance policy, but it’s always best to check with your provider before you plan any home improvements.