Home improvement plans could invalidate insurance policies

A price comparison website has warned that major DIY improvements could invalidate home insurance policies.

Gocompare.com Home Insurance found that a new bathroom is the UK’s most popular home renovation with nearly two in five (39 per cent) homeowners who carried out a major home improvement in the last five years splashing out on a new bathroom. 

The other most popular renovations were new kitchens (38 per cent) and a new boiler or central heating system (34 per cent). 

However, the study also revealed that 41 per cent of those carrying out renovations did so without telling their home insurer, potentially invalidating their policy.

Matt Sanders, home insurance spokesperson for GoCompare, explained: “While you don’t need to inform your insurer about routine decorating or maintenance, you should inform your provider if you’re planning on carrying out any major building or renovation work, otherwise you could risk invalidating your policy.

“When planning a major renovation project, one of the first things you should do is to review your buildings and contents insurance to make sure that you have adequate cover both during and after the work has been completed.”

He added: “Another important thing to note is that most home insurance policies don’t cover tradesmen or their work, so you should always check that they have their own insurance in place. It’s also sensible to check that any tradesmen you employ are qualified to carry out the work and registered with a recognised governing body.

“Remember, after completion of the work, you may need to increase your sum insured to reflect any increase in the rebuilding costs of your property and any increase in the value of your possessions.”

Top 10 home improvements carried out in the last five years

1 Installed a new bathroom 39%
2 Fitted a new kitchen 38%
3 Installed a new boiler or central heating system 34%
4 A garden make-over 26%
5 Installed double glazing 26%
6 Built an extension 17%
7 Knocked through rooms 12%
8 Fitted solar panels 12%
9 Created an attic conversion 10%
10 Added an extra bedroom 9%