Insurance and renovations

2017-02-01 06:01
Using a reputable building contractor may save you from extra insurance costs due to incomplete or faulty workmanship. PHOTO: supplied

Using a reputable building contractor may save you from extra insurance costs due to incomplete or faulty workmanship. PHOTO: supplied

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

THINKING about making some long overdue home improvements? Before you get started, there are some important points to consider.

According to Bertus Visser at PSG Insure, if you are planning home renovations, it is essential to inform your insurer that your policy remains in full effect during this time.

He says most policies also require that the home remains occupied while it is insured. Your insurance company obviously feels that your house is less likely to be burgled as long as there’s someone living in it.

If you have to leave your home for an extended period while renovations are being carried out, inform your insurer and make sure this won’t have too much of an adverse effect on your cover, says Visser.

What to be aware of when undertaking home renovations:

Renovations can increase the value of your home

Your home insurance policy covers the replacement cost of your home in the event of significant loss or damage. Anything that affects the replacement cost of your home, such as a new bathroom or marble countertops in the kitchen, can also affect your premium and the amount for which you are insured.

“Make sure you inform your insurance company as soon as possible of any significant upgrades,” says Visser.

If the renovations you have decided to undertake are extensive enough, such as replacing an exterior wall or retiling the veranda roof, your insurance company may decide to reclassify your policy to that of a ‘building under construction’, rather than a single family dwelling.

If there’s only half a roof covering the lounge, or if the master suite has a wall or two missing, it could affect the condition of the contents of your home, which are also covered by your insurance policy.

Consider your contractors

Another consideration for many home renovators is the safety of workers on the property. “If a worker or anyone else is injured while work is carried out in or around your house, you may be liable for costs and damages relating to injuries,” he says.

“Before you hire a contractor, make sure that they have insurance for their workers.

“You should also review the amount of liability cover you have. It may be worthwhile to increase your cover during the renovation period.”

If your home is an older one, renovations could uncover potentially hazardous building materials.

Contractors may also use a construction technique that does not conform to current building regulations.

“Some of these changes may significantly affect the scope and duration of your renovations, and therefore your insurance cover,” says Visser.

Using a reputable building contractor may save you from extra insurance costs due to incomplete or faulty workmanship.

Start by planning properly

Make sure that your building plans are pre-approved, as your insurance company could repudiate your claim if your building does not conform to the required building standards and laws.

This is vital for all properties, and even more so for properties close to rivers, beaches and dams, as the 50- or 100-year flood line could have an effect on the approval of building plans. You could also end up with a nasty liability claim from neighbours should your plans not be in accordance with building regulations.

“Once your upgrades are complete, make an appointment with your insurance adviser as soon as possible. Talk about the changes and discuss whether your insurance cover needs to be altered,” says Visser.

- Property24.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Competition regulation for a growing and inclusive economy

ADVERTORIAL: The Competition Commission of South Africa is conducting advocacy work in the South African automotive aftermarket industry and has gazetted a Draft Code of Conduct for public comment.

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.