The British are a nation of DIY enthusiasts. We spend an absolute fortune on home improvements every year, in fact figures from SAGA show that the average household will shell out £2,000 to improve their properties every year. When you’re investing in a major improvement such as a conservatory, you’re going to want to make sure your investment is protected for the future. This means making sure you have enough and the right type of insurance to cover this new building effectively.
Failing to tell your insurer about a major change such as the addition of a conservatory could cause problems if you come to make a claim. Even if the claim is unrelated to the conservatory, they could refuse to pay out. You can find out more about home insurance in general in this useful guide from Citizens Advice. Here’s what you need to know about insurance for your conservatory.
Before starting work
If you are planning to build a new conservatory, you should notify your insurer before any work takes place. They may need to increase your premium to cover the conservatory, and it’s a good idea to do this right away so that it is covered from the moment it is commissioned. You might even want to shop around for a competitively priced policy that gives you better cover for your conservatory.
During the build
It might sound over the top, but it is worth notifying your insurance company when the build is due to start, so that the conservatory is covered even while it is still being assembled. It is not unknown for parts of a half finished conservatory to be stolen from site, or indeed for panels to become damaged while they are stored on site. This is your conservatory, and it’s unlikely your builder will have cover against theft or damage they did not cause, so it makes sense to protect it right from the start.
Your conservatory should be covered by your home insurance policy, although you should notify your insurer straight away and make sure you have enough cover to protect this addition to your home. Your buildings insurance should provide enough money to cover the cost of rebuilding your entire house from scratch, and as this will now need to include your conservatory in the rebuilding cost, you’ll need to make sure your level is high enough.
Cover from your contractor
Whoever it is that you have building your conservatory for you should offer independent cover to protect you initially. Their cover should be a guarantee of work, backed up with an insurance policy, assuring you that you can get any mistakes or faults rectified without being out of pocket, even if the company you are using ceases trading.
Check out what level of cover is provided, and what is actually included in this guarantee. It may be that the structure of the conservatory is covered, but not the glass, or that the conservatory itself is covered, but not any damage done to your house during installation. Ask to see a copy of their policy, and read any terms and conditions thoroughly before signing any paperwork.
Keeping premiums low
If you’re worried about the cost of your premiums as a result of adding a conservatory, there are a few things you can do to ensure your building is secure and cheap to insure. For instance:
laminated safety glass is incredibly hard to break, and does not allow access easily even when shattered. By specifying this type of glass on the windows, you’ll be keeping your whole house more secure.
Extending your alarm system or CCTV into the conservatory can be inexpensive and highly effective at maintaining security of the building.
Doors and windows
Keeping a locking door between the conservatory and the main building adds another layer of security to your home. The door of your conservatory itself should be a multi-point locking door, and opening windows should be fitted with security locks too.
Failing to keep up the maintenance of your conservatory could cause mould, mildew and dampness to build up in other parts of your home. Damage caused by this, when deemed to be a result of poor maintenance, may not be covered by your insurance.
One of the most important things you can do to maintain conservatory security is to be careful about what you keep in the room, and how visible things are. If you decide to install hundreds of pounds worth of home entertainment equipment in this glass room, at least keep your blinds drawn so that everyone passing by doesn’t see your high value contents!
More information on insurance for conservatories is available here.
Image source: Daily Mail