Carrerahill

Self build insurance for extension.

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I am posting this on behalf of a friend who has just started basic works in his garden for his extension after I convinced him he could do it (he can) - he now has planning and is just waiting for a final structural sign off.

 

He wanted to know about self build insurance for his build, issue being that he will build most of it himself, he says he is coming up against a lot of the insurers asking questions about the trades, which, in his case may be few and far between. 

 

So - for those of you who truly self built and got insurance (you see I didn't! - built now anyway) who did you approach and how do you overcome the DIY aspects...

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Does he want site insurance (damage, fire, injury, hired plant etc during the build) or a warranty?

 

I got a Protek site policy through Versatile Insurance, there were quite a lot of questions about trades/experience etc on the form but when I talked it through with the broker they said I didn't need to bother answering most of them for the site policy, would only be relevant if I wanted a warranty as well. They were fine to do the site cover on the basis it would all be me with occasional labourers and the odd specialist trade.

 

I was told by a couple of insurers they wouldn't even contemplate quoting for a warranty as there was no chance they'd offer a price I'd accept for a full self-build extension. I wasn't that fussed about that as we don't have any external requirement to get one.

 

 

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One thing to add, the policies work out pro-rata quite a bit cheaper the longer they are. I was wildly optimistic at first about how long it would take, then over-optimistic when it came to renew. So I've now twice paid over the odds for a short policy.

 

With hindsight I'd have done much better to take the first policy for a lot longer than I thought I needed....

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55 minutes ago, andyscotland said:

One thing to add, the policies work out pro-rata quite a bit cheaper the longer they are.

 

 

I got a requote from Protek last month, 12 months is their current sweet spot for best value/policy duration. I think the 12 month extension was slightly cheaper than the first year of cover.

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if it's just an extension, then his house insurance should cover it, will need to let them know anyway as well as mortgage co. if applicable. that way he will just need public liability if he thinks he will really need it. if the garden is quite secure i wouldn't bother

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3 hours ago, Simplysimon said:

if it's just an extension, then his house insurance should cover it, will need to let them know anyway as well as mortgage co. if applicable. that way he will just need public liability if he thinks he will really need it. if the garden is quite secure i wouldn't bother

 

Depends on the insurers. My understanding is most home insurers will say they are ok with building work, but there's a lot of small print if you dig into the detail. They won't cover things they'd normally expect to be on a contractor's site insurance policy. For example my insurer told me if there was a fire related to the building work they wouldn't cover the house or the extension. Likewise they wouldn't cover theft or damage to materials until the extension was complete. And definitely no cover if anything went wrong while knocking through from house to extension. They have quite a lot of getout clauses...

 

Home insurance generally works on an "specified peril" basis where things are only covered if they explicitly say they are. Most site insurance works on "all risks" basis where anything related to the project is covered unless there's an exception written into the policy, so will pay out for a much wider range of claims 

 

Also worth thinking if you'll have anyone helping out (labourer, labour-only trades, friends and family) at any point. If so then even if not "employing" them in the PAYE sense then you should really have employers liability cover in case they have an accident. If not you risk very significant costs of claims from your own cash, or worse they guilt of knowing someone got seriously hurt assisting you and wasn't able to get proper compensation.

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On 12/02/2020 at 11:34, andyscotland said:

Does he want site insurance (damage, fire, injury, hired plant etc during the build) or a warranty?

 

I got a Protek site policy through Versatile Insurance, there were quite a lot of questions about trades/experience etc on the form but when I talked it through with the broker they said I didn't need to bother answering most of them for the site policy, would only be relevant if I wanted a warranty as well. They were fine to do the site cover on the basis it would all be me with occasional labourers and the odd specialist trade.

 

I was told by a couple of insurers they wouldn't even contemplate quoting for a warranty as there was no chance they'd offer a price I'd accept for a full self-build extension. I wasn't that fussed about that as we don't have any external requirement to get one.

 

 

Just to insure his build while he builds I think. I shall link him here to read these himself and let you know what he reports back.

 

Thanks

Edited by Carrerahill

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Thanks for all these replies. 

 

I have forwarded them all on.

 

 

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19 hours ago, Simplysimon said:

if it's just an extension, then his house insurance should cover it, will need to let them know anyway as well as mortgage co. if applicable. that way he will just need public liability if he thinks he will really need it. if the garden is quite secure i wouldn't bother

 

Sort of the route I took - but also neglected to tell anyone, at all...

Edited by Carrerahill

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