Five things to think about before you renovate


Kiwis love to improve their properties, but any type of home renovation – whether it’s a project so large you’re moving out for months, or you’re just knocking up a deck on your weekend – can have an impact on your house insurance.

Here are a couple of tips to think about before you start, so that you’ll still be covered.

1. Check your house insurance policy for any exclusions

House insurance policies won’t cover major renovations, but some (including Vero) will cover minor, non-structural work. It’s a good idea to check your policy to see what the limitations are.

For example, Vero’s house insurance policy will cover you for non-structural work less than $25k (adding a small deck is a good example), but not for anything that involves adding on to the home or removing roofing or cladding.

2. Notify your insurer

Regardless of the type and value of your works, it’s a good idea to let your insurer know you’re doing it. They will be able to agree to maintain your cover, or let you know if you may need any additioal insurance.

3. Take out any additional cover you need 

If you are doing major works, you might need additional insurance like a Contract Works policy. This will work in conjunction with your normal home insurance and cover any damage caused by the renovation work. Most Contract Works policies will end once your renovations have a Certificate of Completion or Code of Compliance issued.

If possible, it’s a good idea to get Contract Works cover from the same insurer that you have your house insurance policy with. This makes it more likely that you’ll have seamless cover between your different policies.

4. Ensure any tradies or contractors have the cover they need

If you are getting works done by builders or other tradespeople, check that they have Public Liability Insurance and find out what other cover (if any) they have. So if there are any faults or issues caused by their work, their insurance could help out.

The information about any tradies’ insurance should be in their Conditions of Contract, so it’s a good idea to sort out your arrangements in writing.

5. Update your home insurance after the work is finished

If you’re doing any works to your home, it may change the amount of money you would need to rebuild your property if it is damaged or destroyed.

Once the works are complete, use an online calculator or a registered professional like a quantity surveyor to check your rebuild estimate, and update the Sum Insured on your house insurance policy so that you’ll have enough cover if anything happens.

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This article first appeared at on 11/07/2018.  Republished with permission.

Important Information

While care has been taken to ensure that the information in this communication is accurate, no entity or person gives any warranty of reliability or accuracy, or accepts any responsibility arising in any way including from any error or omission. The information included in this communication is of a general nature and does not constitute financial or other professional advice. Before taking any action, you should always seek financial advice or other professional advice relevant to your personal circumstances. For financial advice, we recommend you contact your Adviser. If you don’t have an Adviser, contact us on 0800 267 5494. AMP home and contents insurance is issued and underwritten by Vero Insurance New Zealand Limited.