How to insure a home under renovation

A guide to getting cover for your next project


What is renovation insurance?

Renovation insurance is a type of insurance that protects your property and grounds during renovations and building works.

It typically covers you for accidental damage, loss and theft to your home and contents. It can also cover materials used on site and property owner’s liability.

It’s designed for both occupied and unoccupied homes, meaning your property will still be protected if you need to temporarily move out.

As all renovations are different, you can choose what your policy covers and how long it will last. And if your project takes longer than you anticipated, you’ll normally have the option to extend your policy or change it to annual cover.

What insurance do I need when renovating a house?

Whether you need to take out renovation insurance will depend on the scope of your renovation project.

It’s likely that your regular home insurance will cover you for minor home improvements and cosmetic changes, like redecorating or DIY.

However, you won’t usually be covered for any project that impacts the structure of your property. For example, extensions, conversions and other building works.

If you are planning a bigger project, you should consider taking out renovation insurance. This will ensure you’re fully covered from start to finish.

If the work you have planned means you need renovation insurance, the policy will replace your home insurance while the works are ongoing. Once the work is complete, your home insurance will be reinstated.

Do I need to tell my home insurance provider if I'm starting a renovation project?

Unless you’re just painting the walls or installing a new carpet, you should tell your home insurance provider if you’re starting a renovation project or planning building works.

They’ll be able to tell you what your home insurance policy covers and if you need to take out a renovation insurance policy. This means you won’t end up unprotected if things go wrong.

They can also tell you if your home insurance policy will need adjusting once your project is complete. This is often the case when big property changes affect the rebuild value.

Your ‘rebuild value’ is the cost of rebuilding your property from the ground up today. If you’re adding an extension or making improvements, your rebuild value will likely increase. If this happens, you could end up paying more for your home insurance policy.

However if things go wrong or you’re demolishing parts of your property, your rebuild value could go down.

When you take out renovation cover, your insurer will ask you a range of questions, including how much the work is going to cost and how long it will take to complete.

Depending on the scope of the project, you may also be asked to share your contractor’s details, including contact information and whether they have public liability insurance.

What happens if I'm planning to rent out the property?

If you’re renovating a property to turn it into a rental home, renovation insurance is ideal as it covers the property while nobody is residing in it.

When the renovations are complete and you’re ready to start letting, you may want to switch your renovation insurance for landlord insurance.

Like standard home insurance, it protects your property against damage and loss. Where it stands apart is that you can usually add cover for loss of rent and even legal protection. This will cover any disputes with your tenants over malicious damage or eviction notices.

We’ve explained everything you need to know in our guide to landlord insurance.

What if nobody will be living in the property once it's renovated?

If you’re renovating a property that isn’t your current residence, there may be a length of time that the property remains unoccupied once the work is finished.

If you already have home insurance on the property, you’ll be covered for a set length of unoccupancy. Depending on your policy, this could be around 30 or 60 days.

For any time longer than that, you may wish to take out unoccupied home insurance. This ensures your home is protected against vandalism, theft, damage and more while nobody is around.

How do I get renovation insurance?

When you’re ready to get renovation insurance, you can go directly to a renovation insurance provider or broker with details of your project.

As renovation cover is a type of specialist insurance, it can help to discuss your needs with a broker. Not only will they search the market on your behalf, but they can advise you on the type of policy you might need.

At Wesleyan Financial Services, we work with a panel of leading insurers. Whether you’re looking for a one-off policy for your project or you need annual cover for ongoing building works, we’re here to help.

How much does renovation insurance cost?

What you can expect to pay depends on the nature of your property and your project. The quote you receive will depend on:

  • The rebuild value of your home (the current value of the property, pre-renovation)
  • The scope of the work (what you’re having done and the length of the project)
  • The cost of labour and materials (this is something your contractor can provide)

All of these factors will influence the level of cover you need, and in turn the price of your policy

If you’re looking to save money on your renovation insurance, you can get 20% off as an eligible Wesleyan member

Ready to get insured?

Renovation insurance

Looking to protect your property during a renovation? Get insurance for home extension and building works from a handpicked panel of leading insurers.

Home insurance

Insure your home with comprehensive cover for your buildings and contents. Ideal for houses worth up to £1,000,000 and belongings up to £75,000.

High-value home insurance

When standard home insurance isn’t enough for your property, get bespoke cover for your specialist home or high-value home worth more than £500,000.