Carrying out an extension project brings an increased risk of loss or damage because not only are you carrying out new works but you have an increased exposure in the form of the structure that’s being extended – which is usually your house. Extension insurance is crucial as home insurance does not normally adequately cover the risks that are inherent in an extension project.
How extension insurance works
Extension insurance should cater for both the existing elements of the property that’s being extended and all the new extension works that go into the process. The existing structure is usually your house – so if the property collapses while creating a new opening for example, the extension insurance will cover it and completely replaces the requirement for buildings insurance, which is not suitable. All the works, including any temporary works, materials, plant tools and equipment need to be covered. Public liability and employers’ liability are automatically included to ensure you are adequately protected.
When choosing extension insurance, it needs to be in place from the moment you plan to start works on the property and should continue to the point the project is completed and taken into full use.
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Help choosing the extension insurance cover you need
Our staff have many years’ experience in helping people get the suitable cover in place for their projects. We have designed our extension insurance product to be inherently flexible both in terms of product options and choice of cover duration whilst being comprehensive and competitive. If you are utilising a contractor to carry out the works, issues may arise as to who is contractually responsible for insuring the existing structure because the contractors insurance may not cover it. Extension Insurance can solve that issue quite simply.
Why you should have Extension Insurance
It’s not just serious losses like a fire or flood that you need to be protected against, claims for theft of materials, plant tools and equipment can become quite expensive if not insured. A collapse whilst knocking through to create an opening may have disastrous consequences for your house. Vandals gaining access to the part completed project could cause a huge amount of damage and destruction even if they don’t steal anything. The remoteness of a site just adds to the issue. You may have neighbours in close proximity and accidental damage to their property can become an expensive and emotional problem.
Building sites are hazardous places of work – injury sustained by contractors, friends or visitors to site – whether invited or not – can become your responsibility and claims for injury are usually very large and can result in prosecution.
Essentially it’s just not worth leaving your project uninsured. Protek’s extension insurance covers you for a range of eventualities.
Party Wall Agreements
If you are proposing to carry out work within three or six meters of a party or boundary wall your will invariably have to consider your liability under the Party Wall Act 1996. Under the terms of the Act, your neighbour has a right to be compensated for any loss or damage caused by your relevant works. So, should you cause damage to the neighbouring property inadvertently, public liability does not provide protection as it is a foreseeable loss. However, cover for your contractual liability can be included under Protek Extension Insurance as an option on any project where you have evidence of a party wall agreement in place.
Never run out of cover
Protek recognises that projects don’t always run to schedule which is why we have flexible cover periods on offer and the ability to purchase short term policies to effectively extend cover as required.
You can optionally include legal expenses (professional fees insurance) when arranging your site insurance cover. It provides cover for contractual disputes with the contractors, trades and professionals involved with your project so that if things aren’t going to plan because you are in dispute you can gain legal help and where the prospect of success is good, assistance in seeking resolution. It’s important to bear in mind that you must have contracts evidenced in writing. Advice on arranging contracts is available here.
10 year structural warranty
Don’t forget you will also need to consider a structural warranty, which covers the new works and consequential damage to the property for 10 years against defects in the design, workmanship, materials and components causing major damage. For more information see our structural warranty page.