Home improvements: what your insurer needs to know

Home maintenance

21 July 2023

From putting a new lick of paint on the living room walls to remodelling the kitchen, planning new home improvements is an exciting time. When trying to get the perfect home aesthetic, you should think about the best way to tackle your DIY project, as well as how you’ll be protected against any mishaps. So, before you get started, what home improvements are you covered for? Find out everything you need to know below.

In this section:

DIY Dos and Don'ts

Do plan ahead

Before you dive in and start taking down that ugly shelving unit, it is important to plan what you are doing. Putting the project on paper will help you plan what you want the room to look like, how you’ll achieve it and what your potential roadblocks there are. This will make your DIY experience go more smoothly, and the finished result will be how you imagined.

Don't skip steps

Want to get rid of that old-fashioned wallpaper, but don’t think stripping it off first is necessary? As boring as preparation tasks can be, it’s important to do them. Taking the time to prepare will ensure you get the best possible results at the end of your DIY project. No one likes a lumpy wall!

Do take simple steps to improve your home

Taking on home improvements can be daunting, and sometimes we put them off because of that. Starting with the small improvements, like adding new plants or hanging pictures you’ve had in storage for months, can make you feel better about your progress - and motivate you to tackle those bigger projects.

Don’t attempt electric or gas work

Even if the job seems small, never attempt to complete gas or electric work yourself. Any gas or electric related jobs pose a substantial risk, no matter how small they seem. If your home improvement requires any wires moved or gas pipes changed, always call a licensed professional.

Do check your cover with your insurance company

When considering doing any DIY in your home, speak to your insurance company about which eventualities you are covered for, and get information about any additional cover you may need. Looking for a home insurance quote? Check out AXA Home Insurance to cover your home improvement project.

What do I need to tell my insurer about when making cosmetic home improvements?

For smaller cosmetic home improvements, such as re-tiling the bathroom or putting shelves up, it’s not a requirement to let your insurer know. However, it is important to bear in mind that some insurance policies may not cover accidental damage; minor incidents may be covered but check with your insurer before starting your DIY project. 

At AXA, you can add accidental damage cover to your existing buildings insurance policy and/or contents insurance policy as an optional add-on – unless you have AXA Premier Home Insurance, which includes accidental damage as standard. AXA’s accidental damage insurance would cover you for any spilled paint on the carpet or broken TVs because of home renovations, provided you have purchased a contents policy. You can get a quick quote for AXA Home Insurance.

What do I need to tell my insurer about when making larger home improvements?

For larger structural changes in your home, such as building a conservatory or having a loft extension, you must inform your insurance company before work starts as this could affect your cover, and in some cases, AXA won’t be able to continue your cover for certain structural home improvement projects. Having home renovations done to the structure of your home could mean you temporarily move out, and having builders or building materials travel through your home, leave parts of your property exposed – which is all information your insurance company will need to know about. Details of what you tell your insurance company before large home improvement projects should include:

  • An estimate of how long the work will take 
  • The projected cost of the project 
  • Whether you will be staying in the home while the work is taking place or moving out temporarily 
  • If the number of rooms in your home will be increasing, for example adding an extra bedroom or bathroom – including additional rooms in outbuildings, such as annexes or summer houses. This will need to be amended on your home insurance policy from the date building work starts. 
  • Details of the builder or building company you are using to complete the work, if applicable, and if the builder has their own liability insurance.

Future you will thank you

Now that you know what to do before and during your home renovation, check out some of our other useful tips and guides. And if you’re not an AXA customer already, check out AXA home insurance and get a quote today.