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Renovation insurance

Renovation insurance protects your property and its contents when you're carrying out building work.

It covers some of the potential risks that come with renovating your home, such as:

  • Injury
  • Fire
  • Theft

Depending on what the work is and the value of it, a standard buildings insurance policy might cover you. You should check the policy documents or speak to the insurer to check exactly what is and isn't covered though.

Compare quotes to get the right cover or keep reading for tips on getting the right insurance when you're planning home renovations.

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What does renovation insurance cover?

Renovation insurance provides cover from the start of your home renovation until it’s finished. It's a type of buildings insurance policy that covers the structure, fixtures and fittings of the building.

Policies differ between providers but you’re typically covered for:

Check the policy documents and speak to the insurer before you buy a policy to make sure it covers you for the renovation work. The insurer may be able to extend the cover on the policy but if not, you'll need to find a specialist renovation policy to cover you.

Does home insurance cover renovations?

Most home insurance policies only cover DIY and redecoration. So there may be restrictions on what you can do depending on the work being done.

Renovation work like fitting a new kitchen will likely fall under the minor building works clause of some policies so you should be covered. More extensive structural work like a loft conversion or an extension might not be covered.

So speak to your insurer before starting the work. This will mean they're aware of what work will be taking place in the building and could adjust your cover to reflect that.

If no changes need to be made to your policy, you'll be allowed to start the work as planned. Alternatively, if your policy doesn’t cover the renovations, you'll need renovation insurance.

Exactly what's covered will depend on the type of home insurance. Buildings insurance covers the structure, fixture and fittings of the building against damage. Contents insurance covers your possessions against theft or damage. A combined home insurance policy covers the buildings and contents.

Do I need to tell my insurer about building work?

Yes. If you're carrying out building work without telling your insurer and something goes wrong, your policy could be made invalid.

This means you might not be able to make a claim and risk paying for any costs relating to the claim out of your own pocket. The type of damage can vary depending on the work being done. But to give you an idea of potential costs, the average claim for escaped water in the home is £8,100*.

Many insurers use rebuild values to calculate your insurance costs. Renovations can affect the rebuild cost of your home, so your provider needs to be told in advance.

You don't need to tell your insurer about cosmetic improvements or redecorating.

Update your insurer if you’re planning:

  • Structural renovations, for example significant rewiring or re-roofing
  • Alterations to the layout of the house such as an extension
  • Loft, cellar, basement or garage conversions

When discussing renovations with your insurer, you need to tell them:

  • The cost of the work
  • How long the job is likely to take
  • Your contractor’s details and whether they have public liability insurance
  • Whether your home will be unoccupied during the process

*Based on Confused.com data, January - March 2024

How much does home renovation insurance cost?

There's no fixed price. As an example an average buildings insurance quote with specified work in progress is £267*, compared to a standard quote for buildings which is £187*. The cost can vary though depending on a variety of factors including:

When buying a home insurance policy, make sure you’re honest with the provider. Give them as much detail about the renovations as possible to ensure the policy covers all the work you're planning.

*Based on Confused.com data, January - March 2024

Will renovations increase my home insurance costs?

This depends on what kind of building work you're having done.

Major renovations like extensions can result in higher insurance costs as they increase the cost to rebuild your home.

Typically, if the work increases the cost of rebuilding your home, there's a chance your insurance costs could go up.

How to get a home insurance quote

To get a quote, follow these simple steps:

  • Fill in our quote form with details about you, your home and your belongings
  • We’ll ask you if you’re planning or if there’s any building work taking place at your home. We'll ask if you agree that "There is no building work in progress". Select 'no' if you're looking to carry out building work
  • We compare from up to 63 home insurers1 to help you find our best price
  • When you’ve found a policy you’re happy with, you’ll be asked to confirm the details and then buy online
  • Once you’ve bought your home insurance policy, don’t forget to come back and choose a freebie with Confused.com Rewards**.

1Correct as of March 2024

**Single annual policy. New and former Paramount+ subscribers only who sign up at ParamountPlus.com. Subscription required. Auto-renews unless cancelled. 18+. Just Eat website account required, geographical exclusions apply. One regular hot drink per month for a year, only available via the Confused.com app. T&Cs apply.

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What our home insurance expert says

"It's important to make sure you contact your home insurance provider to tell them you're thinking of renovating your home. It's possible your provider may cover you without needing to change your policy but it's always best to check first.

If something goes wrong and you haven't got the right cover, you could find yourself facing some hefty bills. Getting proper home renovation insurance in place means you're covered for accidental damage to your home, as well as legal and public liability cover."

Matthew Harwood, Home & lifestyle insurance expert at Confused.com
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