Home Insurance & DIY Renovations

If you’re planning a DIY home renovation, be aware that there are a few things that you must consider about your home and contents insurance to ensure that your possessions remain covered.

Home makeover shows have inspired thousands of Kiwi home owners to try their hands at DIY renovations. But if you’re planning to pick up the tools, it’s worth checking out if your building plans could affect your home and contents insurance cover. Here’s what to think about before you knock down any walls:

Home insurance & DIY renovations: What to think about

Tip 1: Notify your insurer

It’s always a good idea inform your insurer if you’re planning major renovations. Either they’ll give you a green light that you’re able to maintain your cover, or they’ll let you know if you need to arrange any additional insurance. 

Tip 2: Check your home insurance policy for any exclusions

It’s key to read your policy before you start DIYing, to check any exclusions or limitations to your cover. House insurance policies generally won’t cover major renovations, but some will cover minor, non-structural work. The key message: double check the specifics of what your policy covers.

For example, will your policy cover damage or theft to your home during the period of construction/work?

Tip 3: Does your insurance cover DIY renovations?

Be cautious and make sure DIY renos are covered by your policy. If in doubt, ask your insurer directly. Things such as electrical wiring often need to be done by a licensed professional. If your DIY electrical job causes a fire, don’t expect to be covered by your insurer.

Tip 4: Ensure any tradies or contractors you employ have their own insurance cover

If you’re getting work done by a professional builder, check their level of insurance cover. Then, if they are responsible for any damage to your home, it could be covered by their insurance policy. It’s always a good idea to get details of their insurance cover in writing. 

Tip 5: Update your home insurance when the work is finished

Renovations add value to a home. So make sure you update your level of insurance cover to take into consideration your building upgrade. Otherwise you could find yourself under insured.

Compare home insurance providers with Canstar

If you’ve not reviewed your level of home and contents insurance recently, why not? You could be paying too much.

One of the easiest ways to reduce the cost of your premiums is to switch providers for a better deal. By comparing providers and shopping around, it’s often possible to secure a better level of cover at a cheaper price.

To this end, Canstar reviews the best home and contents providers in the market annually. This year our expert research panel crunched the numbers on 15 policies from 11 providers, awarding the best our coveted Home and Contents Insurance Awards.

For more on this year’s winners, and to start your research into a better deal on your home and contents insurance, just click on the button below.

Compare Home and Contents Insurers with Canstar

About the author of this page

This report was written by Canstar’s Editor, Bruce Pitchers. Bruce has three decades’ experience as a journalist and has worked for major media companies in the UK and Australasia, including ACP, Bauer Media Group, Fairfax, Pacific Magazines, News Corp and TVNZ. Prior to Canstar, he worked as a freelancer, including for The Australian Financial Review, the NZ Financial Markets Authority, and for real estate companies on both sides of the Tasman.

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