DIY disasters are a common cause of insurance claims. Amateur plumbers and builders often find their best-laid plans go wrong and have to call in the professionals. When handling a DIY project, it’s good to know your limits and don’t attempt complex jobs that are beyond your skills and capabilities. However, if you do find a project doesn’t as run smoothly as expected – make sure your home insurance can pick up the pieces.
Accidental damage cover
This is normally offered as an optional extra and is bought in addition to your standard home insurance policy. As the name suggests, it can help cover you for accidental damage in your home – from small slip-ups to large DIY catastrophes. This can include things like spilt paint on the carpet or an unwanted hole in the wall. It’s worth checking whether this is currently included in your chosen policy.
If you’re planning to undertake a major DIY project, such as a loft conversion, make sure you inform your insurance provider. Making large alterations or additions to your property could affect your home insurance cover, so it’s wise to inform your insurer before getting started. For example, fitting a new en suite bathroom could count as an additional room in your home, so your insurer would definitely need to know about it.
Leaks and water damage
One of the main problem areas for insurers involves homeowners attempting technical plumbing jobs themselves. If not dealt with immediately and efficiently, a small leak can soon become a big problem – seeping through walls and floors causing extensive damage.
Water damage is normally covered as standard with both buildings and contents insurance, but it typically won’t cover the cost of repairing the faulty apparatus that caused the leak in the first place. To avoid problems, it’s best to leave complex plumbing to the professionals, as a small error might result in a major flood.
Calling in the experts
If your DIY does turn into a nightmare, make sure you call in a fully qualified, registered professional. If you end up with a cowboy tradesman, they may exacerbate the problem and could compromise your insurance. In addition, make sure that any tradesmen you do instruct at your property have adequate public liability insurance. This is essential protection for both you and them, just in case anything did unexpectedly go wrong.