Ready to renovate? Don’t forget – changes to the structure, or how you use your property may affect your home insurance cover.
Home improvements. A pain to endure, a bliss to enjoy. But before you take the hammer to your home, have you considered how a facelift could affect it’s value, or impact on your buildings insurance?
Adapting your house doesn’t always mean higher insurance costs – certain renovations will reduce them – but it’s essential to tell your provider about any of these changes early to avoid nasty surprises.
Running a business from your shiny new home office? Exciting times, but you may first have to update or even change your insurance policy. To host clients, for example, you may need a business insurance plan to cover any public liability, or upgrade your contents insurance to account for expensive company equipment. Adding a home office is one of the most important reasons to consult your insurer – they’ll tell you exactly what’s what.
Why move house when you can make yours bigger? Building an extension – conservatory, living room, garage or loft conversion – is proving popular in a challenging property market. But it’s paramount your insurer is on the same page. Any additional floor space counts as an extension, and will alter the level of cover required. If something happens to your extension and your policy hasn’t been updated, you’ll be massively out of pocket. Even if you’re converting an existing room, chances are its value may change.
One of the most popular home improvements, particularly among first-time buyers. If you’re currently covered for a kitchen with basic cabinets and standard appliance fittings, there’s no use making a claim when your new granite sideboards or underfloor heating let you down. Always think – would your existing cover be enough to help rebuild the dream kitchen you’re planning? It’ll be worth paying the higher home insurance premium to match your home’s new value and ensure you don’t spend the time you’re supposed to be enjoying your renovation worrying.
There are plenty of non-invasive measures you can take which will be music to an insurers ears. Basic steps like installing a burglar alarm, smoke alarms and secure locks on each door and window can reflect favourably in your premium.
Take care with your purchases. Most firms will insist on an approved system – such as the NACOSS standard alarm – before considering cutting their cover costs. And when it comes to locks, five-lever mortice locks are looked on particularly favourably for external doors, while windows will ideally have two bolt locks. Also consider a security lighting system and be sure to join up with the local neighbourhood watch scheme if there’s one available.