How does DIY affect
your home insurance?
Almost a third (31%) of us don’t realise carrying out home improvements can affect our home insurance policies, while one in 10 of us believes it will have no impact whatsoever, MoneySuperMarket research shows.
But in fact, depending on the changes you’re making to your property, home insurance premiums can go both up and down.
To help you work out whether your grand designs will affect the price of your home insurance, we’ve mapped out some of the most popular DIY tasks and indicated whether your premiums are likely to go up or down as a result.
We’ve also teamed up with DIY expert Jo Behari for some top tips to help you nail your DIY to-do list.
If you’re planning major structural work, or if you’re going to be leaving your home vacant while work is being done, you should tell your insurer in advance.
And once you’ve carried out your work, you should inform your insurer, no matter whether your improvements are cosmetic or structural, big or small.
That way you’ll reduce the chances of being under-insured and having any future claims turned down, or paying too much for your policy.
Home insurance guides
What types of home insurance are there?
There are two types of home insurance:
This covers the cost of replacing all your possessions, such as furniture, electrical items, clothing, jewellery and other belongings. You might find it helpful to work out the value of the contents of each room in turn before adding them together for your grand total. When you run a quotation, we’ll ask you about any particularly valuable items (those worth more than £1,000), along with any laptops and bicycles.
This covers your bricks and mortar, and would pay for repairs or rebuilding costs if, for example, your property were damaged or destroyed by a fire or storm. The amount of buildings cover you need is based on how much it would cost to rebuild your property, rather than its market value. When you run a quote, we’ll suggest a re-build amount using data about your address provided by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.
What information do I need to run a building and contents insurance quote?
There are a few details you’ll need to provide to get your quote…
- Your address, the type of property and roughly when it was built
- How many rooms the property has
- Whether there are trees taller than 10 metres within 5 metres of the property
- What percentage of your roof is flat, if any
- When you bought the property
- Who lives there, and when are people typically at home
- What sort of locks are on the doors and windows
- How much would it cost to rebuild (we’ll suggest a figure based on your postcode)
- How much it would cost to replace your contents
What kind of insurance should I get?
If you own your home, then you will need both buildings and contents insurance. If you have a mortgage, your bank or building society will require you to have buildings insurance.
If you’re a renting your property, then buildings cover will be the responsibility of your landlord, but you will need contents cover to protect your possessions.
How can I save on my home insurance?
Don’t be tempted to scrimp on cover to reduce your premiums. There are other ways you can keep costs down which won’t leave you financially exposed.
When buying cover, remember that taking out combined building and contents cover with the same insurer can be cheaper than buying separate policies.
You could consider increasing your voluntary excess to reduce your premium. This is the part of any insurance claim you have to pay yourself.
Try to pay for your cover in a lump sum up-front if you can. If you pay in monthly instalments instead, you’ll usually have to pay interest on these payments.
And remember that if you can avoid making a claim, you’ll get lower premiums by building up a no claims bonus.