Building an extension is an excellent way to expand your home and add value to your property. Structural renovations are a costly and time-consuming undertaking, so you want to make sure every detail is correct. One of the most common questions asked by people thinking of building an extension is if it will be covered by their home insurance.

Well, it depends and the only way to know is to contact your insurer. That should be your go to move for any questions about your policy. Certainly, when you build an extension, you need to inform your home insurance company.

The reason is simple. Any time you extend your house or do any structural building work, you are increasing the risk the property poses to your home insurance provider. Insurance is all about risk, and major building projects increase the likelihood of something going wrong in your home. There will also be less security than usual with contractors coming and going.

However, in most cases a standard home insurance policy will not cover major renovations like an extension. Instead, you will need to purchase specialist renovation /extension insurance. When you find yourself in this situation, Emerald Life can help.

Our authorised and regulated home renovation insurance provides cover that accounts for the additional risks involved with building an extension.

Renovation Insurance – how it works

Home renovation and building insurance provides protection against problems that may arise during a major building project, like an extension. In most cases, your standard home insurance provider will refuse to cover major renovations as part of a normal policy.

In this situation, make sure you have extension insurance that will be specifically for the risks associated with structural projects. Working with a specialist like Emerald Life will mean you will be financially covered if something goes wrong during the build.

You need specialist insurance because there are some unique risks when building an extension. As mentioned, insurance companies base policy prices on risk, but also use risk to decide whether to cover you or not. A standard home insurance policy does not include the additional risks that major renovations bring. Whether it’s buildings insurance or contents insurance, a specialist extension insurance solution is necessary.

What Are the Risks For Extension Insurance?

There are two areas of risk that are inherent in all major renovation projects:

Structural risks: This involves the actual work when the construction is underway. If a part of your home is being destroyed and rebuilt, accidents are more likely to happen. An extension involves walls and roofs being knocked down to make way for the new build. Even the best contractors can have accidents. Needless to say, any damage caused may cost a lot to fix, so extension insurance is a good choice to avoid picking up the costs of repairs.

Security risks: During the project, your home will be more vulnerable. Firstly, you will have builders coming and going, both inside and outside your home. Secondly, windows and doors are often left open. Both these scenarios present a greater chance of theft, while it is also worth noting opportunistic thieves may see a building project and view it as easy access to your home.

Aside from those obvious risks, you cannot discount the potential for shoddy work. Normal home insurance policies don’t usually cover for poor work by a contractor. Of course, you should avoid this problem by researching and finding a reputable building company. However, having renovation insurance will help cover you if the worst happens.

Will Building An Extension Increase By Home Insurance Costs?

Once your extension is built, your home will be larger and probably be worth more than it was. Furthermore, you will also need to buy new furniture and fittings for the interior of the extension. All this adds up to you likely needing to pay more for home insurance.

This makes sense because the insurer will be covering a larger home for buildings insurance and more belongings for contents insurance. That’s why finding the very best home insurance deal is important. At Emerald Life, our standard home insurance policy is built on a principle of value for money, including free legal cover.

How To Get Extension Insurance

When looking to purchase an extension insurance policy, you need to ensure you get a level of cover that properly protects your extension project. Before contacting Emerald Life, add up the total cost of the renovations.

Projects that cost under £25,000 will be covered under the standard renovation insurance premium with quotes available online.

Building work costing more than £25,000, give us a call for a quote. As a reference, projects that cost from £25,000 to £35,000 will have a 10% increase on the premium. Any extension or renovation work costing between £35,000 and £50,000 will see a 15% premium increase. All work costing over £50,000 will require approval from our underwriters.

When setting up your insurance, we may need you to provide a Scope of Works so that cover is in place from the date the project starts. It is worth noting if we request Scope of Works, you can provide it after buying our policy, but the insurance will not be valid until you provide the necessary information.

If you’re unfamiliar with a Scope of Works, it is essentially the plans you have for the project. For example, when the project will start, work performed on the project, its deliverables, and when it is planned to end. Don’t worry, most contractors will be able to give you a Scope of Works for the extension you are building.

What Else To Consider About Building An Extension

When building an extension, you want to avoid including structural choices that could invalidate your home insurance policy in the future. While there are no strict rules about what some insurers will cover and others will not, there are some things you should steer clear of.

One of them is a flat roof. Sure, no roof is ever truly flat because you need some run off for water. However, insurance companies do not like to cover roofs that are too flat. While it is possible to find insurance for a flat roof, the insurance company is likely to be more concerned than they would with a pitched roof.

Your provider may ask for more information on building materials, warranties, the gradient percentage of the roof, and life expectancy. Furthermore, if you want a flat roof you will probably have to accept paying more for home insurance.

Another area is locks. You need to have an extension that has proper locks that secure it adequately. More important from an insurance perspective is that you accurately describe those locks to your insurer. Providers will often reduce a pay-out or refuse a claim if they find the information you provide about locks is incorrect.