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House and Contents Insurance Tips During a Home Renovation

So, you’re finally ready to take on the home renovation but wondering how your house and contents insurance will be affected? Before you pick up the demolition tools, there are a few tips we have to get you through unscathed by those pesky insurance technicalities.

Check Your Cover Before You Start Renovating

Each insurance policy is different to the next, so the first move is to work out what exactly your policy covers you for. Take a look at your Product Disclosure Statement or give your insurer a call if you aren’t certain. If your policy doesn’t cover you for renovations, it’s not game over for your home makeover. We’ll explore some alternatives further on.

Let Your Insurer Know as Soon as You Start

If you are covered for renovations under your house and contents insurance, it’s crucial that you let your insurer know as soon as you start renovating. If your insurer has not updated your policy upon being notified of the planned works, you typically won’t be covered.

Builders and Contractors Insurance

If you aren’t covered for renovations under your house and contents insurance, there are other ways your home can be insured. Get in contact with your builder on contractors to discuss how much cover their insurance includes. Most builders and contractors will have at least partial cover for the area of the property they are working on. In some cases, you can pay an additional cost to upgrade their cover to include your entire home.

Clauses & Exclusions

When reading through your policy and Product Disclosure Statement, pay careful attention to any clauses and exclusions. There’s nothing worse than getting halfway through a renovation only to realise you aren’t actually covered for certain damage sustained in the process.

Occupancy Clause

Most home and contents insurance policies will include an occupancy clause in their cover. Under this, the home generally can’t be unoccupied for longer than 60 days, or the cover will lapse. Try and avoid having to vacate your home for a prolonged period of time during the renovations to avoid expensive premiums or your cover being voided.

Water Damage

Another common exclusion under house and contents insurance is water damage sustained during renovations. For this reason, it’s important to ensure your builders have adequate waterproofing measures in place.

Deter Thieves

If it appears obvious that your home has been transformed into a worksite, it could attract thieves and burglars. Installing a security fence and concealing entrances can keep your home secure. If you have to vacate your house at any point during the renovation, try and make it appear as though you’re still living there. You can do this by leaving lights on and ensuring your mailbox is regularly emptied.

Update Your Insurance After Renovation Completion

Once the sweet relief of a completed renovation has finally arrived, the final step is to contact your insurer and update your policy. This way your new additions to the home will now be covered under your house and contents insurance.

Sally Writes 01 Feb 2021