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What insurances are needed for home improvement projects?

What insurances are needed for home improvement projects?

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What homeowner’s insurance should I have?

Contact your home insurance providers before the building work starts as you may need extra cover while it goes on. They may also advise on specialist cover if:

  • your home is going to be unoccupied for a time during the works
  • if they're extensive
  • if any specialist expensive equipment is going to be kept on the premises

When the work is finished get in touch with them again as your sum insured may well need to be adjusted.

This doesn’t apply if you’re making cosmetic changes, like painting and decorating, but it does if the work is going to affect the structure or layout of your home, for example rewiring, replumbing or adding an extension.

Be aware that accidental damage may not be valid when it’s caused by alterations or renovations and that you may to purchase extra insurance to cover you. 

What insurance should my builder have?

Public liability (PL) insurance

This covers claims made by you and members of the pubic who have suffered an injury or damage to property while work is being carried out. 

What happens if they don’t have PL insurance?

If an accident occurs and your builder doesn’t have public liability insurance, then you may be found liable. If they don't have it you'll need to provide the cover yourself.

Employers’ liability (EL) insurance

If your builder has employees but doesn’t have this insurance they’re breaking the law – this insurance covers you and the builder if one of their employees is hurt on the job. 

N.B. Ask to see a certificate proving that they have these insurances.

What insurance should my architectural consultant have?

Your architectural consultant should have professional indemnity insurance.

Professional indemnity (PI) insurance is necessary for anyone providing clients with advice, or design or project management services. It covers against claims for loss or damages as the result of professional negligence.

Visit Citizen's Advice for guidance on insurances and more on Before you get building work done