The type, cost, time, and method of renovation will determine whether or not your homeowners policy will suffice and whether an additional form of insurance is required. Insurance policies can actually be invalidated if an undeclared renovation is found to be underway at a property, comprehensive disclosure of renovation plans will allow your insurance agent to secure the most appropriate cover at the best price. The following points outline the main reasons as to why it’s necessary for you to contact your insurer:

Vacating your home can invalidate your policy
Home insurance policies usually stipulate that a property remains occupied while insured, simply because an occupied home is less likely to be broken into than an unoccupied home, and the home is much, much less likely to fall into disrepair.

Renovations can increase your home’s value
Your existing home insurance policy covers the cost of the replacement of the various elements that comprise your home in the event of fire, flood or subsidence, for example. So if you think about it, your renovations will usually increase the value of your home and therefore make it more costly to replace – which means that you should be paying more to insure it. Ensure that you inform your insurance company as soon as possible of any significant upgrades, and you may be required to provide receipts, too.

Extensive renovations may change the classification of your policy
Substantial renovations may man that your policy needs to be one for that of a building under construction, as opposed to a single family residence. If there’s a missing roof or wall, it can mean that the contents of your home are in jeopardy, which will obviously have repercussions on your home contents insurance policy.

Employer’s liability
Before you hire a contractor, you should check their credentials and ensure that they’ve got appropriate Employer’s Liability insurance. If not, and one of the workmen has an accident while working on your home, you may will be required to pay the damages for the injuries they sustain. It may also be worth talking to your insurer about extra cover for the renovation period just in case a third party is injured on your property.

You never know what you may find
If your home is on the older side, your renovations may well expose hazardous building materials or a construction technique that doesn’t comply with current building regulations. If what you find needs to be rectified, your renovation may take much longer than you and your builders intended, and if that’s the case, you’ll need to extend the period of your insurance cover. Fail to do that, and you might just face an invalid policy, should the worst happen.

In any case, your best and safest course of action is to consult closely with your insurer, inform them initially of the extent of your renovations, and ensure that they’re regularly informed of any developments change in circumstances. If you have any questions, be sure to always approach your insurer with them.

Feature supplied by MoneySupermarket.com

Photo Courtesy of Flickr via Creative Common (http://www.flickr.com/photos/drstarbuck/)

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