Ascend Home insurance
March 15, 2021

A £250,000 bill after insurer rejects claim for wrecked home

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Family faces £250,000 bill after insurer rejects claim for wrecked home

 

Home minor works… are you covered?

With over 70% of UK homeowners not advising their insurer about renovation work being undertaken, it is no surprise that when things go wrong there are many cases where insurance cover is invalid.

 

The builder has their own insurance, I am covered?

Have you checked the cover? Many tradesman purchase insurance online, on a non-advised basis, meaning they answer drop-down questions and, in many circumstances, miss questions that can make their cover invalid. A family had their house destroyed by a tradesman who had inadequate cover.

Family face ruin over invalidated insurance

Our advice

If you are undergoing any type of renovation, alteration, demolition or extension to your home, it is important to notify your existing insurer; if they don’t provide adequate cover for your works, we can help by offering you a specialist policy.

 

Internal renovations

It is important to notify your existing insurance company when carrying out internal renovations, as any new materials that have been delivered will not be covered under a standard buildings policy, until they are fitted i.e. new kitchen, bathrooms, tiles etc. These items will be covered as standard under our specialist Renovation Policy.

 

Structural renovations

If your project consists of any structural works, it is important to consider a specialist policy to provide cover for the existing structure and new works. The risk is not always just to the insured property. Building work can also result in damage being caused to neighbouring properties and this should also be a consideration. Our specialist policy can be extended to provide insurance cover for the neighbouring property. This is called ‘Non-negligence insurance’. Chelsea property collapse following building work

Basement collapse 

Major renovations

Usually in order to carry out major renovations, you will need to move out of the property leaving it unoccupied. This is not something that most building insurers are able to accommodate. We would class major renovations as piling works, basements, demolition etc. These are all things that can be catered for under a specialist policy.

 

So, if things do go wrong – you are not reliant on a £10 per month builder’s insurance policy!

Another factor to consider is whether your proposed works will require the property to be vacated. Most standard home insurance policies have an inoccupancy clause on them which restricts the cover if the property is empty for more than 30 days.

 

What will insurers need to know?

· Description of works

· Works’ duration

· Cost of works

· Details regarding the existing structure

Sub contractors – am I covered?

For homeowners and property developers when undertaking renovation projects

 

Why should you consider renovation and extension insurance?

· Things might go wrong during the building works as your house may be structurally unstable, exposed to the elements or more vulnerable to theft.

· Your current home insurance policy will not give you the protection you need, if any.

· Stay in control of the process and don’t rely on the builder’s policy which will leave you with gaps in coverage.

· Protect your investment. If something goes wrong with the building works, you want it rectified immediately and the funds released to rectify any damage.

 

My builder says he has insurance for the project. Will this cover me as well?

Not adequately. Your builder’s policy will not cover your existing structure and will not be able to provide cover for specific perils such as flood, storm or subsidence.

A builder’s insurance policy may well have exclusions and limits which will compromise the safety of your property. A classic scenario is an application of heat (using a blowtorch) exclusion, which means that if a fire were to break out because of the building works, e.g. a rear extension, then the cost to repair this damage would be excluded. You would have to foot the bill and then undertake costly and potentially lengthy legal proceedings against the builder, meanwhile your renovation work is put on hold and additional costs start to escalate.

 

I still don’t understand. What shall I do?

Don’t worry! This can be a complex and confusing area of insurance. Pick up the telephone and give us a call. You may feel unloved and deserted by your current home insurer, but we are here to make sure your project and your property is insured correctly.

 

We can talk you through your options, so you have the right level of cover in place for the duration of your home renovation. GET A QUOTE

01245 449060

Matt.price@ascendbroking.co.uk