The Consumer Lawyer

Home improvements which can void your insurance

With the uncertainty of Brexit and the constant talks of another recession looming it appears that many people are choosing to make home improvements rather than move house.  If you’ve recently made improvements to your home or are about to, take note of these readers stories:

Quinton from Derbyshire converted his internal double garage into a bedroom 18 months ago. The whole of his downstairs was flooded this month so he made a claim on his insurance. When the assessor came out to the property he questioned when the garage had been converted and if planning permission had been obtained. Quinton provided him with a copy of the planning certificate and thought that all was ok. 3 days later he received a letter saying that his claim was being rejected as he had failed to notify them of the conversion of the garage and as a consequence of this his policy was void.

Edward from Marlow installed a new kitchen in July 2018, costing him £22,500. In May this year he had a fire in the kitchen which destroyed the whole kitchen, utility room and part of his hallway. When Edward put his claim in the insurance provider made enquiries about the kitchen, due to the amount that it cost. They then refused to cover the entire amount claim in the kitchen on the basis that Edward had not informed them about the new kitchen installation.

Lisa and her husband from Reading, who describe themselves as DIY enthusiasts, divided one of their bedrooms into two, which involved building a wall and additional doorway. Following a house fire they put an insurance claim in and in the description stated that it was a four bedroom house. The insurance provider questioned this as according to their records it had three bedrooms. The insurer asked for details as to when the changed happened and how much the works cost. In the response Lisa stated that they had carried out the conversion themselves hence why the cost was low. Following this the claim was rejected, on the basis that they had not got an experienced builder to carry out the works. They ended up changing their minds and paying out, but it shows that this is another excuse that insurers could use.

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