Published with permission from Vero Insurance New Zealand.
Kiwis love to improve their property, but any type of home renovation – whether it’s a project so large you’re moving out for months, or just knocking up a deck on the weekend – can have an impact on your house insurance.
Before you start, have a read of our tips, so you’ll still be covered.
1. Check your house insurance policy for any exclusions
House insurance policies won’t cover major renovations, but some will cover minor, non-structural work. It’s a good idea to check your policy to see what the limitations are.
For example, some house insurance policies will cover you for non-structural work less than $25k (adding a small deck is a good example), but not for anything that involves adding onto the home or removing roofing or cladding.
2. Notify your insurer
Regardless of the type and value of your renovations, it’s a good idea to let your insurer know you’re doing it. They will be able to agree to maintain your cover, or let you know if you may need any additional insurance.
3. Take out any additional cover you need
If you are doing major renovation work, you might need additional insurance like a Contract Works policy. This will work in conjunction with your normal home insurance and cover any damage caused by renovation work. Most Contract Works policies will end once your renovations have a Certificate of Completion or Code of Compliance issued.
If possible, it’s a good idea to get Contract Works cover from the same insurer you have your house insurance policy with. This makes it more likely you’ll have seamless cover between your different policies.
4. Ensure any tradies or contractors have cover
If you‘re getting work done by builders or other tradespeople, check they have Public Liability Insurance and find out what other cover (if any) they have. So, if there are any faults or issues caused by their work, their insurance could help out.
The information about any tradies’ insurance should be in their Conditions of Contract, so it’s a good idea to sort out your arrangements in writing.
5. Update your home insurance after the work is finished
If you’re doing renovations to your home, it may change the amount of money you would need to rebuild your property if it is damaged or destroyed.
Once the work is complete, use an online calculator or a registered professional, like a quantity surveyor, to check your rebuild estimate, and update the Sum Insured on your house insurance policy so you’ll have enough cover if anything happens.
If you’re about to do home renovations and want to compare house insurance policies, the team at Over Fifty Insurance have access to multiple providers to help find you the best deal!
By Richard Godman