11 October 2022

Do I need insurance for my home extension?

By Renovation Plan

There are all sorts of reasons why adding an extension to your home is a good idea. From extra space to added value, all tailored to your tastes, an extension can transform your lifestyle. But the construction process can be complex and disruptive, and potentially impact the rest of your home. So why consider an extension and how should you protect it?

Why should I extend my home?

Add space, your way

A building extension simply gives you more room to live in – helping you enjoy a happier lifestyle. Whether you’re after a bigger, brighter kitchen, more room to entertain or a new bathroom or bedroom for an expanding family, an extension enables you to tailor your home to your exact needs. You can choose the design, the materials used and the layout to be just right for your home – and it makes better use of wasted outside space.

Save the stress of moving house

If you need something more from your home, then moving house is always an option. But it’s expensive and stressful and will inevitably involve compromise, especially if you are happy with the area where you already live. An extension helps solve this problem – enabling you to make the best of your current home without the hassle and costs of moving.

Increase your property value

That said, by extending your home, you do push up its value – around 25% for an average semi-detached house with three bedrooms, according to some. This will of course vary depending on the size of your home and style of extension, but it shows how the initial investment can pay off if you look to sell in future.

Why do I need insurance?

Adding an extension has multiple benefits but it takes weeks of complicated and often expensive building work to complete, from structural alterations to laying foundations. Accidents can happen all too easily, whether it’s somebody injuring themselves on site, loss of materials, or damage to your own or even your neighbour’s home. In these cases, the costs of repair can be eye-watering.

Then there’s the higher security risk as exposed walls, doors and windows make it easier for thieves to slip inside. You may even have to move out for a while during the works, which means your home is left empty for a long time, again increasing the chances of something going wrong. So when you’re investing a lot of money into your home extension, you should make sure you’re protected by the right insurance.

Won’t my home insurance cover the work?

Many people make the mistake of thinking their standard home insurance is all you need – but, in most cases, it won’t cover you while your extension is built.

Home insurance is generally only designed to cover small renovations, such as painting and decorating, buying new furniture or replacing fittings. It’s not cut out for the higher level of risk that comes with building works, including any mistakes made by your builder or any works costing over £25,000.

What’s more, most home insurance policies come with an unoccupancy clause, which says you can’t live elsewhere for more than 30 days at a time. So if you have to move out for several weeks while your extension is built, your cover may stop completely.

While you’re still planning your extension, you should check with your home insurer to find out just what they will and won’t cover during the works, and make sure you get extra cover from a specialist renovation insurer if you need to.

What about my builder?

If you use a reputable builder, they should have their own insurance – but this will only cover them for their own risks, for example if they make a mistake or have an accident. If damage occurs and it’s not clear whose fault it was, you could end up liable. And if any materials that you have bought yourself are stolen or broken, your builder’s insurance won’t cover them either. So taking out your own home extension insurance is often your safest course of action.

How does home extension insurance help?

Extension insurance is specifically designed for the complex risks that come with building an extension onto your home. In most cases you’ll need it when you’re making structural changes and/or you’re investing over £25,000 in your project.

A dedicated extension insurance policy gives you the peace of mind that any extra, unexpected costs will be covered, as well as any financial damages if someone injures themselves on your site. On top of that, it provides cover for your building materials as well as your existing property and belongings. Your public liability is included, as well as options for alternative accommodation and unoccupied property – so your home is still protected even if you’re living elsewhere during the building works.

At the end of the day, an extension can transform your home and improve your quality of life. Home extension insurance protects that – offering comprehensive cover that your standard home insurance or your builder’s policy simply can’t provide.

At Renovation Plan, our friendly team love to discuss your home improvement plans and offer advice on the insurance you need. Get in touch today for your quick and easy quote.

Want to find out more about extension insurance?

You can find further useful information on our extension insurance page. If you’re not ready to get a quote yet and would prefer to speak to someone, you can find the details by clicking here. We can’t wait to find out all about your project!