2 December 2021

Is my self-build or extension covered for storm damage and flooding?

By Self Build Zone

The weather in the UK has been very stormy in the last couple of weeks, resulting in prolonged rainfall across the country. For those people mid-extension or in the throes of a self-build project, water and wind damage can cause thousands of pounds worth of damage, but who is responsible for rebuilds and reinstatement works?

When the weather turns, the key priority for self-builders and home renovators is to ensure they are as water-tight as possible to negate any damage caused by the typical British seasons. Autumn and winter bring extra concerns as the risk of damage from storms becomes a lot more prevalent and we see a growing number of amber and red weather warnings.

Protecting your building in extreme weather conditions and having the right cover is crucial. Don’t assume you are covered by your existing house insurance as carrying out any works on your existing property will meet with an exclusion on most Home Insurance policies. If you are altering the structure of your home or carrying out renovations that exceed £25,000, the policy will not cover you. You will need an alternative Site Insurance policy.

Another common misconception is that your builder will be covered as they will have some form of insurance, but this is often not comprehensive enough to cover your whole site. Many builders’ insurance policies have limits which won’t cover the whole cost of your build or your site if they are not on it. You will also need to prove they have been negligent and pursue them in court at your own expense for a successful claim.

It is recommended that you take out a site insurance policy for your project before any works take place. Site Insurance is necessary to protect your investment when you’re carrying out a renovation, conversion, extension or new build. Our self-build Site Insurance policy covers the new work, existing structure and rest of the site. It protects against the likes of losses, fire theft, flood, storm damage, vandalism and accidental damage.

Although it’s not a legal requirement to have site insurance, you must, by law, have Employers’ Liability cover, as you will be employing contractors to work on your site. This is included within our site insurance policy at the value of £10m as standard. It is always advisable to think about the worst thing that could happen during the build and think about the financial implications that would have. For example, without insurance, if your new house burnt down or collapsed, or flooded a week before you move in, who is going to pay to reinstate it?


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