Home Improvements can affect your Insurance

How does DIY affect my Insurance?

Improving your home brings many benefits. It adds value to your property, it becomes a nicer place to live. If you have taken time to upgrade wiring, plumbing, increased security etc, this can also reduce the risk of an insurance claim.

home improvements

On the flip side, you will need to re asses your home insurance as it could mean you are now under-insured.

If you own the property, then any additions to the structure for example an extension or a conservatory can mean the building sum insured is too low.  Maybe you have spent several thousand pounds on a new bathroom suite or kitchen. This increase will need to be taken into account.

How do I know how much to increase the sums insured by?

There is no hard and fast rule here, but generally if you have spent an X thousand pounds on the structure of your property, I would add this to the building sum insured.

What is buildings what is Contents?

If you are not sure what should be included a simple way to tell what is classed as buildings and what is classed as contents is as follows:

The structure is generally anything you would leave behind when you sell the property. For example you don’t take the kitchen or the bathroom, or fitted wardrobes with you. They are all classed as part of the structure.

Anything else is classed as contents insurance. This is another area that shouldn’t be overlooked. If you have spent money on furniture, such as a new home office  you may need to re think your contents sum insured. It depends on what type of policy you have.

luxury kitchen

Some house insurance policies rate on the number of bedrooms in your property and provide an overall sum insured say £40,000. This reduces the probability of under insurance. If you have calculated the sum insured yourself, then you need to go through each room and add up the total cost of the furniture. Don’t forget to include, clothes, kitchenware and electronic items in your calculations.

If you have made large improvements to your property, you might have installed a new or upgraded security system,  CCTV etc.  This is something that you should advise your home insurer of, as there are reductions in premiums for increased security, such as doors and window locks and alarms etc.

If you are taking the time to revisit sums insured and cover, it might be a good idea to make sure the policy you have is still meeting your requirements and whether it is still the most competitive or not.

insurance advice

There are lots of places to look online, as well as comparison sites. If you are not sure who you can really trust for advice you could visit the BIBA website and they will be able to recommend a local insurance broker

If you don’t want to use an insurance broker,  do the research for yourself, but don’t fully understand the terminology, or where to look, I recommend using a website like thatsinsurance. They appear to be truly independent and do not sell anything themselves. The site has great sections that explains insurance cover in more detail and then rates Insurance companies and the policies they offer.

Armed with more information you can also visit comparison sites, although you need to be aware that they don’t compare every policy. They will however be able to give you an indication of the sort of premium you can expect to pay and the cover available.

You have spent a lot of time and energy making your home look as good as possible. It is only right you make sure the Insurance covering your luxurious abode is up to scratch too.