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What Insurances are necessary when undertaking a refurbishment of an existing Property?

Most of us are familiar with home insurance coverage, but what happens when you want to renovate, extend or rebuild your property? What are the insurance implications and how do you make sure that you have coverage when you actually need it the most?

Normally you have home insurance in place against unforeseen circumstances such as fire, theft, water damage, electricity-related issues, natural disasters, etc. But what if you decide to actually make alterations to your property, for instance in the form of renovation work, modernising of the interior spaces, adding extensions or new features such as a swimming pool, Jacuzzi or fire pit – or indeed plan to rebuild the home extensively?

Insurance cover during building/renovation works
You would be forgiven for thinking that you enjoy automatic, on-going cover under your existing home insurance policy, but in reality you’ll find that most insurers suspend cover while ‘major’ building works are taking place. There can be some discussion as to what constitutes major construction, but it’s all covered in the small print of your contract, so there’s little chance of reversing it when it happens.

For this reason, it’s very important to check the conditions, and if cover is indeed suspended whenever you embark upon any significant building work on your property, then it is vital to let your insurer know about your plans. Why? Because any damage incurred during the works will most likely not be covered by your existing policy, which will in principle only resume once the building is completed.

How to get it
Therefore contact your insurer and see if you can arrange continued coverage, although it will usually be with restricted cover for the duration of the ‘project’. To be fully covered, also ensure to your full satisfaction that the main contractor you have hired to carry out the building/renovation work have themselves got Constructors All Risk cover. This is of vital importance as it means they will be able to provide insurance cover for the works and any damage to the pre-existing building.

The main contractor should also have General Liability with an appropriate limit of cover, and you would do well to have mention of this included in the contract. As the owner of the property is technically regarded as the promoter, they should take out Promoters General Liability to provide insurance cover should there be any claims from third parties as a result of the refurbishment. The promoter carries the greatest amount of responsibility should anything go wrong on site.

Where the work involves expanding the constructed area, the owner should seriously consider acquiring Decennial Guarantee Cover, which any person buying the property within a period of ten years from the completion of the works has every right to demand – and they often do. You see, building work brings with it a set of rules, regulations and the requirement for insurance cover in order to protect all the parties involved, and ensure proper procedure and full peace of mind.

Move Project works with outstanding professionals, among which Op de Beeck & Worth.

Information supplied by:  Danni Worth, Op de Beeck & Worth www.