There are so many things to take into consideration when modifying your home, how much will it cost? How long will it take? How will you ever choose between all those shades of off-white for your new hallway?
Whether you are adding an extension to accommodate for a growing family or sprucing up your old bathroom suite with something more contemporary, have you ever thought about the risk you could be posing on your homeowner’s insurance if you don’t take the correct measures?
Home insurance is a great product that provides us peace of mind should disaster strike in our homes but can often be forgotten about when getting contractors in. With so much to organize and the likelihood that you already have a standard policy in place, it is highly likely to slip your mind.
Whatever you are planning in your home, you should take the time to notify your insurance provider first, before work has commenced. We all know insurance companies will try to refuse a claim wherever possible, so taking extra steps to protect yourself will prevent any nasty financial surprises later on.
Read on to discover how you could inadvertently invalidate your homeowner’s insurance policy.
Hiring workmen and contractors can always come with risks regarding their trustworthiness. Dishonest tradesmen have left many with unfinished or unsafe properties and it means legitimate workers are now having to push themselves to prove they are reliable.
Unfortunately, policy providers have now noted the risk of this. Even if your contractor is a trusted friend, insurance companies will see them as an unknown adult having access and even keys to your home.
Also, having unfinished walls or uninstalled doors to your property can be deemed a security risk that could see any passer-by able to gain access to your home without force. Remember, thieves are opportunists and don’t always wait for the cover of darkness. Workmen on a lunch break could be the opportune moment to steal from your exposed property.
One thing we can never control is the weather and even those glued to the forecast can’t always predict how badly extreme weather can impact our own home.
As roofs, windows and walls are removed to make room for our new extensions, this leaves the structure of our properties compromised and exposed to the elements.
Even if damage occurs that has nothing to do with your construction work, for example, a fallen tree from strong winds, your provider will still try to find any excuse to not pay out if you had not alerted them of the surrounding building work.
Water damage can become extremely costly from a severe storm. As work is carried out, mistakes can be made by your contractor and if they accidentally damage a pipe and cause flooding throughout your home, you need to make sure you are covered.
We are in an age where anybody can try to make a claim against you but insurance can protect you, as long as you have the right policy in place.
Your contractor should have taken public liability insurance out themselves, but you can’t always rely on this. Falling debris can pose a risk to the public and can land you in trouble should someone get injured.
Also, sharp work tools can often be left in exposed areas and even if someone is trespassing on your property, if they become injured, you may be liable for a claim. Even on the safest work site, accidents can happen.
Lastly, your construction work is most likely to add considerable value to your home and your insurance policy will need to reflect this.
Your premium will be based on the value of your home and if you are not covered to the correct amount, you could risk not having a claim paid out.
If the worst situation should occur, such as a fire in your home, and you have only covered your property for its previous value, you are unlikely to receive enough funds to replace and rebuild. In some situations, your policy could be completely invalidated and you won’t receive anything.
When planning your new extension have you considered the impact on neighboring properties? We don’t just mean the noise that is always an annoyance to those around you but how will the finished work impact?
Your neighbor may have obtained the right to light, this is where their home will have benefited from natural light for a certain period of time. Your new building could compromise it and they could be entitled to claim for compensation or in the worst-case scenario, get you to tear it down.
By taking our right to light insurance, you can protect yourself from this, click here to find out more.
To avoid any unpaid claims, always alert your insurance provider of anything you are planning. In many cases, your premium will not be affected but having a note on your file will mean they can’t argue if you do make a claim.
You won’t need to alert them of any small changes, such as new carpets or replacing kitchen cabinets. When in doubt, always give them a call just to make sure, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Check for policies, rules, laws and regulations for homeowners insurance in the area where you live which may vary.