When Renovations Go Wrong. Are you adequately Insured?

For most people, purchasing their own home is the largest investment they are likely to make and insuring this investment against unforeseen perils and losses is essential. Buildings and contents insurance is almost always arranged, however, many people do not realise that their home insurance policy could be invalid if they are carrying our building or renovation work at the property. With renovation and conversion projects on the increase, it is our responsibility to advise you of the potential shortfalls in cover.

Potential Problems with Standard home Insurance

Most standard home insurance policies have an unoccupancy clause on them which restricts the cover if the property is empty for more than 30 days. If people choose to move out of the property for the duration of the works this clause is often implemented. A few insurers may offer to continue to provide cover for the duration of the works on the existing building, but would likely exclude any claims arising as a result of the building works, and would not usually extend to cover the materials, fixtures and fittings, until they are actually fitted and forming part of the building.

Relying on the Builders policy

A contractor may have public liability insurance but this would only pick up claims in the event of their negligence. If the contractor has ‘All Risks’ cover including materials on site, this would not extend to cover materials purchased independently of the contractor. In the majority of cases we see, people have purchased their kitchens, bathrooms and other fixtures separately from the builder, leaving these items uninsured. Potentially, there could be more than one contractor on site (builders, plumbers, electricians) and it may be unclear who is responsible for what in the event of a problem.

Disaster Stories

There are many real examples of how badly things can go wrong. The most recent example I can think of is the collapse of a £1m house in South West London in April of this year. The property was undergoing basement renovations and collapsed in the middle of the night. The risk is not always just to the insured property. Building work can also result in damage being caused to neighboring properties and this should also be a consideration when discussing the nature of the works and the proximity to the adjoining properties, particularly where there is piling or basement works being undertaken or there are party wall agreements in place. Damage could be cracks appearing the neighbouring walls or in the most severe cases, the adjoining property could collapse.

We can help

Renovation Plan are delighted to have been approved as the BIBA approved scheme for specialist renovation insurance catering for both private and commercial clients. We can insure the existing structure, the contract works and public liability insurance for the project entire project and offer 6 month or 12 month policies. In respect of commercial clients or the larger projects the policy term can be suited to the contract.

Key Features of the Standard Product:

• Cover for the existing building as well as the new works and materials being added.

• 3 Levels of Cover to Choose from to meet the needs and budget of your clients project.

• £2,000,000 Public Liability Cover as standard on all cover levels

• Highly competitive premiums • Instant online quotes available with buy online facility

• Security of Lloyds of London • Residential and Commercial Properties

Other Features:

• Premiums start from £150.00 plus IPT

• £250 Standard material damage excess (Higher Excess options available)

• Suitable for sum insured up to £1,000,000 (higher on request) with a maximum cost of works sum insured of £500,000

• Suitable for both Occupied and Unoccupied properties undergoing renovation

• Cover available for listed buildings • Standard and Non Standard construction including flat roofs

• Optional cover extensions for: Own Tools, Own Construction Machinery, Contents, Hired In Plant, Legal Expenses, Increased Public Liability and Subsidence (where Level 3 taken and subject to underwriting criteria)

Our Renovation Plan PLUS Product

This is more suitable for the more complex cases including basement excavations, new builds, commercial properties and projects where the contract works exceeds £500,000.

Key features of the Renovation Plan PLUS Product

• All Risks cover for the existing structure and contract works including the materials, fixtures and fittings.

• New Builds Acceptable

• Policies can be in Joint names with Contractor if required under a JCT contract.

• Basement Conversion/ Works acceptable

• Non Negligence Cover/ JCT Liability extension available

• £2,000,000 Public Liability Cover as standard

• Highly competitive premiums

• Policy terms from 1-36 months

• Reduced rates where the Contractor is insuring the works

• Security of Lloyds of London • Residential and Commercial Properties

Other Features

• Premiums start from £600.00 plus IPT • £1,000 Standard material damage excess (Higher /Lower Excess options available)

• Most competitive for ‘All Risks’ cover where the sums insured in excess of £500,000 or where non negligence cover required on joint names policies requested under JCT

• Suitable for both Occupied and Unoccupied properties undergoing renovation

• Cover available for listed buildings

• Standard and Non Standard construction projects including flat roofs

• Optional cover extensions for: Own Tools, Own Construction Machinery, Contents, Hired In Plant, Increased Public Liability, Advanced Loss of Rent, Non Negligence cover

Our team of renovation insurance specialists can be contacted on 01621 784840 for more information or a quotation.

Applying for an Agency

Simply visit the ‘Broker Area’ at www.renovationplan.co.uk and complete the application form. Enhanced benefits available for BIBA members.

The Most Commonly Asked Questions and Answers Below taken from our website.

Q. Why should I use RenovationPlan over other insurance?

A. Normal house insurance generally requires you to reside permanently at the property and also likely to exclude major works being carried out. RenovationPlan is designed to overcome this and in addition will provide cover for both the materials on site and works being added.

Q. What type of project can you cover?

A. just about anything including both major and minor renovations, conversions and properties being extended as well as new build projects. We can also cover both residential and commercial properties.

Q. What are the parts of the project which are covered?

A. The existing structure, the new works being added, the materials on site and if required Contents, Machinery and Tools.

Q. I plan to do a lot of the work myself but I am not a builder is this OK?

A. Yes this is fine. But you should also check that any contractor you do use has their own Public Liability of not less than £2,000,000.

Q. Is Liability cover included?

A. The policy automatically includes Public Liability of £2,000,000. If you are using contracting firms to carry out all or some of the work you should not need further Employers' Liability. If in any doubt please speak to us.

Q. Why do you offer 3 Levels of Cover on the standard product?

A. By providing you with options we can offer considerably reduced premiums for those clients who feel extra covers are unnecessary and so provide a tailored policy.

Q. Why would you offer the Renovtion Plan PLUS product instead of the standard product?

A. Renovation Plan PLUS can cover larger projects where higher Buildings and Works limits are needed. It is also appropriate where you have entered into a JCT contract which requires a joint name policy with the contractor or you require 'All Risks' cover. PLUS can also cover projects where there is a basement excavation or major demolition works. Non Negligence or JCT liability cover can also be added to this policy if required.

Q. How can I work out the Professional Rebuild Cost?

A. If you have arranged a mortgage, this will be provided in the valuation. Otherwise it is a matter of getting professional advice

Q. If I run over the 6 or 12 month policy period can I extend the policy?

A. Yes - we will contact you prior to expiry of the policy, asking if you require further cover. The PLUS policy is issued for the period the works are expected to take. You can choose the policy term on this product


Many thanks for your help and prompt attention today. I am impressed with the understanding you and your company has of the requirements and as soon as we have a date for exchange of contracts I will be getting in touch with you again.
Based upon our limited interaction (and in particular your help and prompt response) I will have no hesitation in recommending your company to others.

Richard Silk
W. Sussex

You've been an excellent company to deal with. I was despairing of getting any renovation insurance through the usual channels until saw you recommended on the website and it's been very straightforward ever since! Best wishes

Lynne Pearce

Many thanks for your quick reply. I'll be in touch in due course to discuss increasing the level of cover as the project progresses. It is reassuring to work with such professional brokers. Many thanks again.

Allan Jones

I would like to say that the level of service was excellent. You called back as promised, dealt with enquiries and answered my queries in an efficient and timely manner. It is, unfortunately, uncommon these days to receive good service and it made a pleasant change to deal with you and your company.

Mr Burgess

Thank you very much for all your help, you have a great policy which offers much better cover and is cheaper than your competitors! I am very impressed with how quickly you turned this around for me. I shall be recommending you to everyone!

Penny M.

Your assistance and excellent customer service should be rewarded and I would not hesitate to recommend your company to others.

Heather Godfrey
Insurance Agent

Once again, thank you for your help and for explaining - this is very reassuring. I am very glad that I have chosen Renovation Plan to insure me on this occasion. And because of how courteous and helpful you have been, I shall ensure that all future projects are insured with yourselves.

Paul Chappell

Many thanks, as always, for your help. Your customer service is outstanding!

Amelia Prosser

Thank you for the cover for the past year. It has given great peace of mind and I will definitely use you again for any future projects.

Julia H.