"your own domestic buildings insurance is void the whole time you have builders in the house"

(15 Posts)
yespeeps Fri 10-Jun-16 01:08:05

just read this on another thread, is it true, can anyone post to the evidence?

BlueCowWonders Fri 10-Jun-16 06:12:20

Not sure about that exactly but we had to inform our insurance company about building works. I'm guessing that eg theft without signs of forced entry wouldn't be covered.

ShatnersBassoon Fri 10-Jun-16 06:16:50

That can't be right. What if a car ploughed through the front of your house during the time a builder was putting a small extension at the back? The builder's insurance certainly wouldn't cover it, so it would have to be yours.

greenfolder Fri 10-Jun-16 06:23:53

Nope that it rubbish if I remember correctly, long time since I worked in the field but your insurance is not invalidated. this doesn't mean that you are automatically indemnified for shoddy work though. However if your house was struck by lightening or a lorry drive into it it would be covered.

Hamishandthefoxes Fri 10-Jun-16 06:35:25

I looked into this in a lot of detail and was helped by mn some time ago!

Insurance policies generally allow you to do a certain amount of work without telling them. If it goes over that value, you have to declare it and may have to fill in additional forms with details of the builders insurance and how the works are beung supervised and monitored.

At a certain point the ins co would expect the builder to insure the works... Some insurers are more helpful than others.

Thistledew Fri 10-Jun-16 07:14:39

We have recently done extensive building works on our house. We just informed our insurance company and forwarded to them our builders own insurance details. The cover continued.

There may be a clause in your contract about informing them of any change of circumstances, which if you didn't tell them about building works may mean they would say your policy is not valid.

peasofcake Fri 10-Jun-16 07:20:28

Damage caused by the builder in the course of their work will be excluded they will have thief own contractors all risks insurance for that. You will have to inform them to ensure that your cover otherwise continues as normal. Th size of the works (usually in £££) will give them an idea of the extent of work and they may remove cover if they feel it's necessary.

yespeeps Sat 11-Jun-16 23:50:24

thank you for all those useful replies, looks like there are some very knowledgeable people on this board! :-)

W8woman Sun 12-Jun-16 12:09:32

I was the person who posted this comment. (I am a property developer and landlord and my husband is a property lawyer, so not just a hysterical keyboard doom-monger).

I was simplifying, but yes, your buildings insurance is invalid unless you inform your buildings insurance company. In most cases they will require a schedule of works and may ask you to temporarily increase your insurance. If the house is rendered uninhabitable at any stage becsuse of building work, or if you are living elsewhere during works, you'll need a separate development policy and possibly additional specialist indemnities.

I use Towergate insurance brokers to advise as every property is different.

W8woman Sun 12-Jun-16 12:16:22

Your builder's insurance policy is no guarantee of cover. It doesn't insure against shoddy work - you'll need to buy an insurance-backed warranty for that.

W8woman Sun 12-Jun-16 12:28:50

Re: lightning, or someone driving into your house - you'll only be covered if you're still living in the house. Even if you're staying at your mother's down the road for six weeks, you won't be covered UNLESS you have negotiated separate cover.

It's all very boring which is why they don't show you this bit on the telly angry, but the legal and financial hurdles are the most crucial parts of the job.

Fridayschild5 Sun 12-Jun-16 22:11:15

Not in my case. We are with Churchill for contents and buildings.

Prior to work starting (loft conversion, ground floor extension to build new kitchen and utility), I advised them of the work. They made a note on my policy and advised me that any building works items kept within the house would be covered by my policy but if in the garden, they wouldn't. Makes sense. Also, if anythjng was stolen from my house with no sign of break in, it wouldn't be covered. That was it. The endorsements won't come off my policy until work is completed. Never any mention of anything else not being covered....if that was the case, not sure why they renewed my policies with them a month ago.

W8woman Mon 13-Jun-16 19:43:07

Friday I can't really comment without seeing your policy, but do be aware that the cover to which you're referring in your post (building materials and your personal belongings) is actually contents, not building.

I'd look into your building-specific cover again if you're embarking on a loft conversion. An awful lot can go wrong, particularly with chimneys and bay windows, and you don't want your insurer weaselling out of paying up should something go wrong.

Liminalstate Mon 13-Jun-16 22:56:37

Like Friday I'm also with Churchill for Building and Contents. I notified them of the building work going on (movement of stairs/removal of non load bearing wall/replacing the kitchen). They took details, asked me if any work involved breaching the roof, and then advised me there would be no change to my policy, but the builder should have their own insurance for their work.

VoleSnuffle Tue 14-Jun-16 11:21:13

We notified our insurance company, they made it clear that the property must be secure at all times otherwise they wouldn't cover us for contents. So when we knocked through we already had a watertight extension with windows and door.

We supplied them with the builder's insurance details too and had to advise when the works had finished.

It was 3 years ago but our insurers outlined what they wouldn't pay out for, it was mainly if the builder messed up and half your wall came down etc.

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