Weekends and holidays are perfect times to get working on a home improvement project you may have had planned for a long time. But before you get started, don’t forget that getting the right level of home insurance means a small investment of time plus perhaps an additional premium to ensure you can go ahead with full peace of mind that you are covered for DIY mishaps.
Accidents do sometimes happen, even to the most careful among us so before reaching for your tool box or letting the builders loose on your property, it is worth finding out what your buildings and contents insurance will cover you for if the worst happens.
Most home and contents insurance policies provide some accidental damage cover, however this is likely to be for specific items. To cover home improvement and DIY work, extended accidental damage insurance will often be necessary and you may need protection under both policies depending on the job.
Home emergency cover, which protects you against the cost of emergency call-out labour charges, parts and materials for a range of problems that can occur in your home including plumbing, gas and electricity may also be a worthwhile investment.
Top 10 home insurance tips for DIY
- Check your level of cover and what you are insured for. Cover varies from insurer to insurer so it’s important to check the small print of your policy first and read the policy exclusions thoroughly
- Accidental damage cover may be included on either your contents or buildings policy or both so check them before beginning any work as they can often cover DIY works
- Inform your insurer in advance if you are planning any major home improvement work to your property, This is especially important if it involves any structural changes
- Use a detector before drilling into any surface. Hitting a water pipe will cause a leak and water damage is one of the most common causes of home insurance claims with repair costs running into thousands of pounds. Using a detector will help you to find pipes and cables and help you avoid costly mistakes
- Think about the materials you’re using. For example, installing plastic pipes may be cheaper in the short term but they can cause problems later on as joints are often less secure and can come apart resulting in leaks
- Before you begin any work, find out where your stopcock is and how to turn it off in the event of a water leak
- Protect your possessions by removing everything possible from the area you’re working in, if it can’t be moved then cover it with a dustsheet
- If your making improvement to your kitchen or bathroom, check that the grouting and sealant around any tiling is in good condition and water-tight
- When it comes to bathrooms and kitchens it’s also important that appropriate flooring is used to prevent water leaks
- If any of the projects you have planned involves work on gas, electricity, plumbing or structural issues it’s vital to note that you risk invalidating your home insurance if you don’t call in expert workman to undertake the job. Asking for references and professional certificates is also recommended.