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How Can Renovations Affect Your Home Insurance

Renovations are becoming increasingly popular in the UK at the moment. Perhaps the current property climate means less people can afford to move to a new home so they're instead trying to make the most of what they have. However, technicalities in your home insurance policy may mean that renovation could actually invalidate future claims. Here's what you need to know.

Make sure you're covered

Read the Fine Print
When you first signed up with your insurance provider, you would have been asked if you intended to make any changes to the property in the future. If you said no at the time, this could mean that starting work later on - no matter long after - could have serious affects on any claims you make.

To make sure you're still covered against any issues, it's highly recommended that you contact your insurance agent before starting any work. You'll then be able to work out any specifics before there's any problems. One more thing to consider is that doing any work yourself may affect your claims differently than if you have contractors working for you. If you have accidental damage cover this will likely cover you against any minor projects, but for anything on a larger scale you must contact your provider.

How Can It Affect You
Your buildings insurance - what covers the structure of your home as well as any permanent fixtures - will come under risk of being discredited if you make renovations that affect the layout of the home. This is because the price of the premium you paid is dependent on the value it would cost to rebuild your property. This means you're insurer needs to know about any changes that could possibly affect this.

If the work is a major disturbance, you might be staying somewhere else until it's completed. Bare in mind that most insurance policies have a thirty-to-sixty day limit for how long a property can stay unoccupied. After this time has passed, your home may not be insured against theft, malicious damage, or adverse weather conditions anymore. Check the exact details of your contract and plan your stay around that.

Finally, if your renovation also extends to new furnishings you may want to update your current contents insurance. This insures what's inside your home, and may not adequately reflect the value of any new goods you buy. If you invested in new windows, doors, or anything that could be construed as a security measure, speak to your insurer about possibly lowering your premiums. Insurance providers such as AXA offer discounts to homeowners who have adequately protected their homes.

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