DIY-ers urged to check their home insurance to ensure they’re covered against accidental damage over the Easter weekend.
- Most home buildings and contents insurance policies don’t automatically cover accidental damage.
- Popular updates include kitchens and bathrooms, redecorating and improving energy efficiency;
Gocompare Home Insurance is urging DIY-ers to check their home contents and buildings insurance before starting a Spring project this Easter weekend, to ensure their plans are covered.
Home insurance policies typically exclude cover for structural alterations, renovations, poor workmanship and faulty materials. So, tackling major projects that you’re not qualified to do – such as electrical or plumbing work - could invalidate your insurance. You should always consult your insurer before undertaking any major changes to your home so that you can review your cover and ensure you don’t void your policy.
Most insurance policies don’t cover accidental damage to your home or belongings unless you have specifically added cover. So, if you accidently knock over a tin of paint and ruin your carpet or put your foot through a ceiling while laying insulation in the attic, you won’t be covered unless you’ve opted for the extra protection of accidental damage cover.
Ben Wilson from GoCompare Home Insurance commented, “Spring is a prime time of the year for homeowners to get to grips with a spot of DIY. But, whether it’s refreshing a room with a new lick of paint or a complete kitchen revamp, we’re urging DIY-ers to check their home insurance before starting work.
“We’ve all heard DIY disaster stories – from spilled tins of paint to tales of people accidently drilling through a water pipe when hanging a picture or putting up shelves. But, what many people don’t realise is that most home buildings and contents insurance don’t automatically cover accidental damage – you have to specifically add it to your policy.
“Accidental damage cover is for loss or damage to your property and possessions caused by an unforeseen, accidental nature. Common reasons insurers give for refusing accidental damage claims are that the policy did not cover the event that occurred, or that the event was not an accident. Therefore, a claim for damage caused by dodgy DIY work may be refused. Similarly, you have a duty of care to protect your home and possessions, so an insurer is likely to take a dim view of a claim for spilt paint damage to technology and entertainment equipment.
Ben Wilson continued, “Homeowners planning bigger home improvements particularly those which involve structural changes such as knocking through rooms or adding an en-suite bathroom, should speak to their insurer ahead of the planned work to make sure they are aware of any restrictions or special conditions that may apply. If the home improvement increases the value of the property, then the buildings sum insured should be reviewed once the project has been completed.
“Likewise, when updating their home, many people invest in new furniture and furnishings or new appliances to fit in a revamped kitchen – potentially increasing the value of their household contents. Again, people should speak to their home contents insurer to ensure they have adequate cover for their new possessions.”
- Move your belongings out of harm’s way and protect large pieces of furniture, flooring and carpets with dustsheets and masking tape;
- Before drilling a hole - check wall or flooring for the position of embedded electrical wires or pipe work using a cable/pipe detector;
- Make sure you have the correct tools for the job. For your personal safety read instructions and familiarise yourself with your tools;
- Be realistic about the complexity of the job, your own capabilities and the length of time required to complete the task;
- For electrical, plumbing and gas work – use a qualified tradesman.
Read more in Gocompare's guide on home insurance and accidental damage.
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For further information please contact:
Anders Nilsson or Martyn John at GoCompare on 01633 654 054 / 01633 654 725
Gordon, Jason or Liz at MAW Communications on 01603 505 845
Follow GoCompare on Twitter; @GoCompare
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