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Essential Guide to Home Insurance During Renovations

Embarking on home renovations? It’s crucial to check if your home insurance coverage still holds up. Will it cover construction damages or theft? This concise guide to home insurance during renovations unpacks what’s covered, what’s not, and how to bridge the gaps—keeping you financially safe from start to finish.

Key Takeaways

  • Standard home insurance policies do not usually cover major renovation projects, necessitating additional renovation insurance to protect against damage, theft and liability issues during the renovation process.
  • The type and scale of home renovations, whether minor aesthetic changes or major structural upgrades, can affect insurance requirements. Informing insurers about any property being unoccupied due to renovations is critical to maintain coverage.
  • Renovation insurance policies typically include coverage for the existing structure, public liability, unforeseen damages, and theft during renovations. Homeowners should carefully assess risks, compare quotes, and consider working with renovation insurance brokers to find the right policy.

Understanding Home Insurance and Renovations

Home insurance policy document with renovation tools and equipment

Renovations are undoubtedly exciting but they carry inherent risks. Home renovation insurance, a specialized policy, secures your property while builders and tradespeople are at work. This distinct insurance not only covers potential damage but also addresses liability issues that may arise during the renovation. Home renovation insurance cover is typically not part of standard home insurance policies.

Most standard home insurance policies don’t extend to major renovation projects. Whether you plan to turn your kitchen into a gourmet haven or add an extension for your expanding family, you’ll need additional coverage, like house renovation insurance. This is imperative to protect against unforeseen damage and theft during renovations, which are typically not covered by standard policies.

Standard Home Insurance Limitations

You may be wondering why your standard home insurance policy doesn’t cover extensive renovations. The reason is simple: the majority of standard home insurance cover policies do not extend renovation insurance cover to encompass significant renovations or construction defects associated with renovation projects.

Standard home insurance might not fully cover home improvement projects due to:

  • Limitations or stipulations related to the nature and cost of the work
  • Security measures during renovation
  • Possible alterations in the insured property’s rebuild costs and value.

The Need for Renovation Insurance

Where standard home insurance ends, renovation insurance begins. It provides coverage for:

  • Unexpected damage to the structure, fixtures, and fittings of your property
  • Personal injuries that may occur during renovation
  • Third-party property damage claims that may arise during renovation

Renovation insurance safeguards against financial losses in these situations.

Whether you’re working with contractors or undertaking renovations independently, renovation insurance covers a multitude of scenarios, mitigating potential risks such as injury, fire, and other accidents that may arise during the renovation endeavor.

Types of Renovation Projects and Their Insurance Needs

Unoccupied property under renovation with caution tape

Renovation projects can span from a mere cosmetic update to a full-scale structural revamp. Be it modernizing your kitchen, making your home more energy-efficient or adding a new extension, each project carries its unique risks and insurance requirements.

Even slight modifications to your residence can impact your insurance policy. Certain building insurance policies may include a clause for minor building works, allowing you to carry out light works. However, it is generally recommended to verify with your current provider to ensure coverage both during and after the renovation.

In the case of significant structural home renovations, separate insurance coverage is typically required as standard home insurance policies generally do not cover renovation work. Additionally, if your property will be unoccupied during the renovation period, you need to notify your insurer as most property insurance policies classify a property as unoccupied if it has not been inhabited during the renovation period.

Minor Renovations

While major renovations can completely transform a space, minor renovations such as:

  • the creation of additional storage
  • installation of energy-efficient replacements
  • incorporation of sliding doors
  • revamping of ceilings

can also significantly improve the functionality and aesthetics of your home.

might seem trivial. However, even these small changes could have an impact on your standard home insurance policy. Hence, it is advisable to consult your home insurance provider before commencing renovations to ensure adequate coverage. Depending on the nature of the renovations, there may be specific restrictions imposed on your coverage.

Major Structural Renovations

When it comes to major structural renovations such as repairing the foundation, adding structural support, performing roof repairs, and constructing room additions, specialized renovation insurance becomes a must. These significant changes often expose your property to a myriad of risks, including asbestos and lead paint remediation, structural issues, HVAC deficiencies, outdated electrical systems, inadequate plumbing, roof and foundation damage, uneven floors, wall cracks, and door problems.

Hence, a specialized renovation insurance policy that provides a more comprehensive coverage compared to standard home insurance is crucial.

Unoccupied Property Renovations

If your property is going to be unoccupied during renovations, it’s imperative to inform your insurer. Conventional home insurance generally provides coverage for an unoccupied home for a duration of 30 or 60 days, contingent on the terms of the policy. Leaving your property unoccupied for an extended period during renovations can increase the risk of theft, vandalism, and other issues that are not typically covered under a standard home insurance policy.

Key Features of Renovation Insurance Policies

Contractor working on a renovation project with liability insurance text overlay

Having established the need for renovation insurance, we can delve into what a standard policy covers. A standard renovation insurance policy typically includes coverage for:

  • The existing structure
  • Public liability insurance
  • Protection against unforeseen damage
  • Protection against theft

These are key facets of renovation insurance policies.

Public liability insurance, a part of renovation insurance policies, offers liability cover against personal injury, fatality, or harm to third-party assets that may arise from the renovation activities. Moreover, renovation insurance provides protection against accidental damage and theft during building work, offering coverage for these unexpected incidents, including property owners liability.

Coverage for Existing Structure

One of the key features of a renovation insurance policy is its coverage for the existing structure of your home during renovations. This includes any current contents, as well as liability risks and the renovation works themselves while construction is ongoing. It provides coverage for various types of damage to the existing structure of the building during renovations, such as fire, flooding, subsidence, landslips, and accidental damage.

Public Liability Insurance

Public liability insurance is particularly important during renovation projects. It offers protection in the event of injury to third parties or damage to their property during the renovation process. This means, if a contractor is injured on your property, or damage occurs to a neighbor’s property due to your renovation work, you’re covered.

Accidental Damage and Theft Protection

Accidental damage and theft protection safeguards homeowners from unexpected incidents during renovation projects. Whether it’s stepping through a ceiling while in the loft or inadvertently hammering a nail into a water pipe, accidental damage coverage in a renovation insurance policy provides protection for such incidents.

In addition to this, the policy is designed to specifically address theft incidents involving violent or forcible entry or exit during the renovation process.

How to Choose the Right Renovation Insurance Policy

Comparison of renovation insurance policy quotes and features

Choosing the right renovation insurance policy involves assessing your risks, comparing quotes and policy features, and working with renovation insurance brokers. Typical hazards linked with home renovations that should be evaluated before selecting an insurance policy include foundation concerns, release of lead or asbestos, electrical and plumbing issues, pests, water damage, rotten wood, mold, mildew, termites, and the possibility of flooding.

Once you have a clear understanding of the potential risks involved in your renovation project, you can then begin to compare renovation insurance policy quotes. In order to effectively compare renovation insurance policy quotes, consider the total cost of the policies and the extent of coverage they provide. It is important to seek out policies that encompass the full value of the renovation, are tailored to your specific renovation requirements, and encompass buildings insurance, public liability insurance, and legal cover.

Assessing Your Risks

Before embarking on your renovation journey, it’s essential to pause and evaluate the potential risks. Typical hazards associated with home renovation projects encompass:

  • Water damage
  • Mold
  • Mildew
  • Termites
  • Foundation concerns
  • Release of lead or asbestos
  • Electrical issues
  • Plumbing problems
  • Pests
  • Insufficient research
  • Budget overruns
  • Delays
  • Poor workmanship
  • Unexpected structural issues

The size and scope of the renovation project can have a substantial impact on the associated risks, including labor shortages, productivity issues, change orders, and subcontractor default.

Comparing Quotes and Policy Features

Once you have a clear understanding of the potential risks involved in your renovation project, you can begin comparing renovation insurance quotes. It’s important to not only consider the price of the policy but also:

  • the extent of the coverage provided
  • any additional benefits or features
  • the potential need for increased coverage or changes to existing policy limits based on the renovations.

It is crucial to inform the insurance provider about any significant changes such as building extensions or loft conversions.

Working with Renovation Insurance Brokers

Choosing the right renovation insurance policy can be a daunting task. Working with a renovation insurance broker can help make the process smoother and more efficient. They have specialized knowledge in:

  • Identifying policies that align with the specific risks and requirements of your project
  • Evaluating various quotes
  • Comprehending policy intricacies
  • Potentially offering expert recommendations for optimal coverage

Informing Your Home Insurance Provider about Renovations

Before you pick up that hammer or start tearing down walls, it’s important to inform your home insurance provider about your renovation plans. This is crucial as renovations can significantly impact the terms and conditions of your existing insurance coverage.

Providing your insurer with comprehensive details, including:

  • the scope of the work
  • duration
  • estimated costs
  • information about the contractors involved

is essential.

Not informing your home insurance provider about renovations may result in your property being vulnerable to renovation-related issues, and in certain instances, it could result in the nullification of your policy. This could pose substantial financial risks and potential losses in the event of an incident.

When to Notify Your Insurer

While it may be tempting to dive straight into your renovation project, it’s crucial to inform your insurer about your plans before you start. This will ensure that your policy remains valid and up-to-date throughout the renovation period and any potential issues are addressed beforehand.

Providing specifics such as the nature of the renovations, estimated expenses, and anticipated completion date can help your insurer comprehend the extent of the work and make necessary adjustments to your policy.

Potential Policy Changes

Depending on the extent of your renovation work, your insurer may require changes or adjustments to your policy. These adjustments may involve taking into account restrictive covenants, securing lender consent, and adhering to building regulations.

Certain renovations, like installing a pool or constructing an extension, might lead to an increase in your insurance premiums. Therefore, it is crucial to review your policy and communicate any changes to your insurer.

Post-Renovation Considerations

Reassessing home insurance coverage after renovations

After the dust has settled and your renovation work is complete, there are still a few important considerations to keep in mind. Post-renovation, it’s time to reassess your insurance needs and update your home’s rebuild cost to reflect the changes made. These steps are crucial to ensure that your property remains adequately insured and protected against potential risks.

The nature of your renovation can influence your insurance premiums. Certain renovations may lead to an increase in premiums, while others may not affect them or could potentially reduce the cost. The impact is contingent on the specific nature of the renovation. Therefore, it is crucial to review your policy and communicate any changes to your insurer.

Reassessing Your Coverage Needs

Once the renovation work concludes, it becomes crucial to reassess your insurance coverage. Following major structural renovations, it is important to notify your insurer about the alterations made to the structure of your home, as these modifications can impact its value and necessary coverage.

Renovations that increase the value of your home usually necessitate a higher insurance coverage to accommodate the increased coverage limits or liability exposure, potentially leading to higher premiums.

Updating Your Home’s Rebuild Cost

If your renovations have enhanced your home’s value or modified its structure, it becomes important to revise your home’s rebuild cost with your insurer. The rebuild cost refers to the total amount required to restore or reconstruct the home from the foundation, encompassing both labor and materials.

Renovations, such as extensions or structural changes, may result in a rise in the rebuild cost of a house. It is crucial to notify your insurer about any such alterations to guarantee that the coverage accurately represents the revised cost of rebuilding your property.


In conclusion, understanding home renovation insurance is a crucial aspect of planning your home renovation project. From assessing your risks to choosing the right policy, notifying your insurer about your renovation plans to reassessing your coverage needs post-renovation, each step plays a pivotal role in protecting your investment. Remember, a well-informed homeowner is a well-protected homeowner.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need house insurance when renovating?

Yes, you need to ensure you have the correct insurance in place before starting any renovation project, as standard policies may not provide cover during extended periods of renovation, especially if the property is unoccupied.

Should I tell my insurance company about building work?

Yes, you should always tell your insurance company about any building work being carried out on your property to ensure your coverage is up to date and adequate for the increased risk of damage.

What insurance do I need when building an extension?

You will need building extension insurance, as your home insurer likely won’t cover the structural works involved in the extension. Consider getting coverage from Renovation Plan to protect these structural works.

Can I get insurance for building works?

Yes, you can get renovation and extension insurance to cover potential problems during building works, as standard home insurance may not provide adequate coverage for such projects.

What is the connection between home insurance and renovations?

Home renovation insurance provides protection for a home during renovations, offering coverage against potential damage and liability issues that may occur during the renovation process, which are not typically included in standard home insurance policies. It is important to consider this specialized policy when undergoing renovations.