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it’s not finished till it’s covered

From Habitat magazine - issue 10

A little inspiration and a lot of hard work are what most homeowners say are the secrets to successful renovations.

While you may look to your Habitat magazine, rather than your insurance company, for the inspiration behind your home design, it’s also important to ensure you have the right level of insurance cover while you are renovating your home.

Whether you are building a new home, or altering an existing house, along with the architect, the council, the bank and, of course, the contractors – plumber, builder, plasterer, painter – it is important that you remember to contact your insurance company.

Before renovation
After renovation
Before renovation (red room) and after renovation (neutral room) - a living room is transformed with Resene Double Alabaster and Resene Half Spanish White.

Get the right level of cover

The scope of your renovations will determine what kind of insurance cover you need. When the renovations are considered to be minor, your existing House policy may cover you, however it is important to check with your insurance company. Minor work that may be covered under your existing House policy includes:

Please check the terms and conditions of your policy with your current insurer.

For more extensive projects involving substantial construction, you may be required to take out a separate construction policy. This is usually required where there is a greater risk of causing damage to your existing house, such as when you are:

House Construction Insurance provides cover for accidental damage or loss to your house while it is being built or altered. Some builders may hold Contracts Work Insurance, however it is important to check with your builder and confirm the level of cover they can offer you.

AMI Insurance offers a specific House Construction Policy (HCP), underwritten by IAG, designed especially for customers who are in the process of building a new house or altering an existing home. Available to all AMI customers, this policy covers all homes for residential use. “AMI offers a specific policy for these circumstances because it is a different risk,” says AMI’s Manager of Products, John McSweeney. He points out that this type of policy offers a range of optional benefits that are unique to this type of cover, making it different from your normal House insurance policy.

During your renovations, things don’t always go according to plan. If your house is accidentally damaged during renovations you may incur additional costs such as:

A separate House Construction Policy could protect you from these costs.

When talking to your insurance company about the level of cover you require, ensure you clarify the following points:

Don’t assume, ask – you don’t want to be caught short when something goes wrong.

Please ensure you read your full policy document wording to understand the terms and conditions of the cover provided by your insurer.

Smile, the renovations are complete

With the look just right, before you sit back and relax remember to contact your insurance company again.

Inform your insurance company when the work is complete. Once your renovations or alterations are complete, you should revert back to a standard House policy offered by your insurer. AMI has two levels of House insurance cover, each designed to give you the protection you need at a price that suits you.

Make sure your new extension is covered. Depending on your policy, your level of cover will be determined by either the value of your house or the floor area of the house. Make sure you contact your insurance company as you will only be covered for the value or floor size stated on your policy schedule.

Don’t forget about your Contents cover. Most people find that renovations and alterations are a good excuse to upgrade or buy additional furnishings and appliances. Speak to your insurance company about increasing your sum insured on your Contents policy.

Whether you are renovating an inner city apartment or a grand old villa, it is important to make sure your meticulously detailed plan includes your insurance requirements. Knowing you have the right level of cover before you start your renovations will allow you to concentrate on creating the perfect space to suit your lifestyle.

For more information and a competitive quote, call AMI today on 0800 100 200.

Top tip

Contact your insurance company before you start work on your house, as once your alterations have commenced you may not get the cover you need.

Also remember to ask your insurance company about your floorcoverings as these may be covered under your Contents policy rather than your House policy.

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Want to get your own free copy of future issues of habitat magazine?

Printed copies of habitat highlights are available from late March 2024 at Resene ColorShops and resellers, while stocks last. You can view back issues of habitat magazine online.

If you have an idea, project or story that you think would suit habitat, we’d love to hear from you. Please drop us an email with your details and include photos if submitting a project.

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