14 February 2024

What insurance do I need for building work?

By Renovation Plan

With more and more homeowners opting to stay put and improve their homes rather than move, the topic of home renovations is on many people’s minds. But with the undertaking of a project comes a great deal of responsibility – including budgeting, juggling contractors and securing the right insurance.

Here’s what you need to know.

Does home insurance cover building work?

Firstly, you need to contact your home insurance provider to let them know about the work planned. If you don’t do this and you aren’t covered, you might not be able to make a claim.

The likelihood is that your home insurance may not be enough to cover the risks that arise during a renovation. On top of this, your existing home insurance policy may not offer you protection while the work takes place. The same goes for building insurance – it generally won’t cover major renovation works because the risk is too high.

On the flip side, you may find that you’re covered for less extensive building work, so it’s always worth checking.

The types of insurance you can get during building work

In most cases, you’ll need to secure building work or renovation insurance to effectively fill the gaps left by your existing insurance.

In most instances, people will get specialist building works insurance. It’s a form of building insurance which goes beyond what your existing building insurance will cover, taking into account the structure and fixtures of the building.

This might look like standard renovation insurance or something more specific, such as extension, conversion or restoration insurance. A reputable building work insurance broker will be able to match you up with a policy that works for your project.

What is building work insurance?

The term ‘building works’ refers to a renovation or other major changes to a building. You might be undergoing an extension, conversion or a full-blown self-build – either way, it’s important to be covered against potential risks.

Building work insurance is best explained as insuring a building site and covering the risks that could arise in this environment – this is different to home insurance, which would cover the risks a home could be exposed to when building work isn’t taking place.

What types of risks can building work insurance protect me from?

Unfortunately, there are risks associated with any renovation project. In the UK in particular, the weather can be a large factor. Beyond this, the construction industry faces numerous challenges that could have a direct impact on your renovation.

Fortunately, building work insurance can offer a good level of protection and you can decide the extent of cover you take out to fit the type of renovation you’re having done.

Typically, and depending on the level of cover you go for, you could be protected against the following risks:

  • Theft
  • Vandalism
  • Accidental damage to on-site materials and equipment
  • Storm
  • Flood
  • Fire

Depending on where you get your insurance from, you could also benefit from additional cover for contents, your own construction machinery, portable hand and power tools and more.

What insurance should my builder have?

Even builders with brilliant reputations can make mistakes. That’s why it’s important to check that they have the right insurance in place. The only way you can check this is by asking to see their paperwork. If they can’t provide it, that could be a red flag.

They should have the following insurance in place:

  • Public liability insurance: This covers potential legal costs or compensation if your builder’s work damages the property or injures someone.
  • Employers’ liability insurance: If one of your builder’s employees is injured or fatally injured due to their work, this will cover them.
  • Contract works insurance: This covers works that are not yet finished and are compromised by a storm or another risk, meaning that your builder needs to revisit work they’ve already completed.
  • Building guarantees: This will cover you for costs if the building company they work for goes out of business.
  • Building warranties: If a building company goes under, a building warranty will cover you in case the work done is faulty.

How does building work or renovation insurance work?

Generally, you choose from different building work insurance cover levels. The more protection you have, the higher your insurance premiums will be. This is a decision that lies entirely with you.

If your renovation project is small, you may be comfortable going for less extensive cover. However, if you are embarking on a large-scale project, it may be worth your while choosing a more extensive cover option as the risks tend to be higher.

Get help with building work insurance from Renovation Plan

If you need specialist building work insurance for an upcoming renovation project, we can help. We have over 20 years of experience as renovation insurance brokers, so we’re clued up on the topic. Check out our reviews on Feefo to see how we’ve assisted renovation projects of all shapes and sizes.

You can get a quote online today. Alternatively, speak with our friendly team by emailing info@renovationplan.co.uk or by calling 01621 784840.