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Here’s How to Avoid a Renovation Nightmare

  • Adroit Insurance and Risk
  • April 2, 2024

So you’re about to sign on the dotted line, filled with excitement to go ahead with that long-awaited facelift for your business premises or home. You have done your homework and you’re going through the checklist one final time to make sure it’s all good to go. Carpet colours, tick. New door frames, tick. Painter, tick. Renovation payments schedule, ticked.

Wait a minute. What about insurance? Is that in your checklist? Sure you’ve got property cover in place but the chances are it has an exclusion for renovation-related activities.

And the reason it should be on your reno checklist is simple: not all renovations go according to plan. Unforeseen mishaps do happen and in some cases those mishaps can be extremely costly. If you’re not covered, you risk being left holding some big unplanned bills.

Yes, tradies and subcontractors should have their own insurance, but you should always check it’s in place and what it covers.

So what can you do to protect yourself and your asset?

For a start, check with the contractor or builder you’ve employed to handle the renovation. Ensure they have appropriate builders’ insurance or tradies’ insurance in place. Don’t take their word for it. Ask to see a copy of their certificate of insurance. Make sure about these aspects before signing any contract with them.

If you can, also ask them what their insurance does and does not cover. Sometimes they have insurance that only covers what they have been contracted to do, rather than the quality of their work. You’ll be potentially left on the hook if the renovation works somehow lead to cracks or other unintended damage in other parts of your structure – or on surrounding properties. Ideally builders’ or tradies’ insurance should provide public liability cover and also indemnity for worker accidents.

But what about the DIY renovations at the business premises or home? Even if it’s for your own business premises, you’ll still need to make sure you have the right insurance cover in place. Never assume your property cover will protect you, because it most probably won’t.

One other thing. Call us and tell us about your renovation plans and the changes – big and small – that you’re planning to make at the insured address. Keeping us updated – so we can advise you and inform the insurer – is part of your disclosure duty.

And finally, when it’s all nearly done we can advise you on how to adjust your cover, because the chances are all that work – and money – will have raised the value of the property. We’ll need to adjust your sum insured.

So give us a call and let us work it all out for you as you look forward to happily signing on the dotted line and starting that long-planned renovation.

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