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Could home improvements impact your home insurance?
Published 15 July 2016 by Kyri Levendi
Don’t forget to inform your insurer when carrying out construction on your home.
You spend a lot of time in your home, so it makes sense that you want it to improve it from time to time. Depending on whether it’s something small like repainting a room or more dramatic like an extension, you might have to inform your insurer before the work starts.
It’s easy to forget this in the middle of planning and comparing quotes for the work, but it is something that could invalidate your insurance. To make sure this doesn’t happen, we take you through what to remember.
Once you’ve decided to construct work on your home and saved up enough money to carry it out, you need to contact your home insurance provider.
Tell them about the work you’re planning and ask them whether you need to increase your buildings and contents insurance based on this. This increase should only be for the period of construction.
You might need to change the terms of your building insurance, if the structure of your home will change as a result of the work. Your buildings insurance covers the cost of a rebuild of a property if the worst were to happen and it was destroyed. An extension will mean that the rebuild value will need looking at again.
Only doing a simple DIY? Check your insurance policy to see whether you have accidental damage cover included. This will cover you if you accidentally spill paint on the carpet or knock over a vase with your ladder.
During the work
You might have a few different people in your home to carry out the work. If so, they could be transporting heavy materials through the property. This might cause damage to your possessions or fixtures.
Just in case your possessions are accidentally damaged, check to see whether your contents insurance will cover you or that you have accidental damage cover. Adding this to your policy could result in higher premiums.
The work you’re doing could also affect the security of your home. If it’s likely to make it more attractive to criminals, you might want to inform your insurer. They could increase your premiums while the work is being carried out. Your premiums could go down though if you use this opportunity to upgrade the security of your home.
Moving out of your property while the work is happening? You might not be able to claim for loss or damage that happens if you leave your property unattended for more than 30 days. To protect your home during this period, you could take out unoccupied home insurance.
Pay with a credit card
By paying for the work with your credit card, you’ll receive protection under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act. This UK law will protect any purchases that you make on your credit card between the value of £100 and £30,000 – even if you’ve only paid partly for the purchase.
So if you get duped by a rogue trader, you’ll be able to claim the money that you’ve lost from your credit card provider.
This level of protection is available from the thinkmoney Credit Card.