Insuring homes of non-standard construction
Find out more
When you’re building a new home from scratch - or even adding an extension to your existing property - you’ll need to be sure you have the correct insurance in place to protect you against all sorts of eventualities.
Building your own home is exciting and rewarding. But it’s a big undertaking that comes with a fair share of risk. You’ll be investing thousands of pounds into the project. So you should be sure you’re protecting your investment carefully by having the right insurance in place.
Self-build insurance - sometimes called new build insurance or project insurance - covers you for all sorts of problems that could affect your building work and lose you money. Things like damage to the structure or fixtures and fittings while your home is being built, theft of materials from the site, vandalism, injuries to people on the plot, delays to the construction work, plus unforeseen events like fires and floods that damage or destroy the build.
Self-build insurance protects you against the risks that come with building a home, ensuring you’re not left out of pocket.
You can take out self-build insurance from the moment you buy your plot and it’s designed to last until the completion of your build.
Policies typically last for up to 18 or 24 months covering the entire building process, but shorter options are available.
And if your building project is taking longer than expected you can ask your insurer to extend your cover. Many will allow you to do this by up to three years or even a month at a time.
Most standard home insurance providers won’t offer self-build cover.
Instead, there are plenty of specialist self-build insurers that can help. You can find these by searching online or asking your contractor if they can recommend a provider. Always make sure that you compare quotes even if options are limited.
Building sites can be risky, dangerous places, which makes self-build insurance one of the most important things to consider when you’re planning a homebuilding project.
The moment you buy your plot you’re responsible for it - so if anyone injures themselves on your land, whether they’re supposed to be there or not, they can claim against you.
Expensive tools and materials kept on site can increase the risk of theft. And dangerous working environments like scaffolding and rooftops could result in accidents.
Plus, while it’s being constructed, your new home may be more vulnerable to the elements and more likely to be damaged by fires, storms and flooding.
Having self-build insurance in place will protect you against risks like these and provide financial protection if something goes wrong.
Whether you’re planning to build an extension or complete a loft conversion, you’ll need to let your insurer know and check whether they’ll still cover you.
Some policies will allow cover for things like having a new kitchen or bathroom fitted. But anything more major may not be covered because of the increased risk of something happening to your home and contents while building work is underway.
If you go ahead on a big renovation without telling your insurer and something happened to your home or contents during the work, your policy could be void.
Usually, with a big project like an extension, conservatory or loft conversion, you’ll need to take out specialist insurance, like renovation insurance or building works cover, to make sure your home is still protected while the work is taking place.
It depends on the particular policy. But you can expect self-build insurance to cover:
Make sure you read the small print of your policy to check it covers everything you need it to.
Without the right cover, it’s not just damage to your plot and part-finished home you’ll need to worry about - you could face legal action if someone on-site suffers injuries or losses.
More comprehensive policies may offer cover (or the option to add cover) for:
Read your policy documents to check exactly what’s excluded before you start building.
In general, self-build policies typically won’t cover you for things like:
This will depend on your particular project.
Factors like the materials you’re using, the type of build, how long the project is expected to last and the overall costs will all affect the price of your policy.
How comprehensive your cover is, plus what optional extras you choose to add on will also influence the price.
It’s always best to shop around and compare quotes.
It’s wise to take out insurance as soon you’ve bought a plot of land to build on, to ensure you’re covered for liability, even before the work starts.
If you have a mortgage, then it may be a condition that you show proof of having self-build insurance in place before they release funds.
Your builders should have their own insurance policy and it’s good practice to check and see what it covers before they start work.
But be aware that their insurance will typically only protect their interests, like covering them for negligence claims. It won’t look after your interests and the project as a whole.
For example, it won’t give you any liability cover before the work starts or provide you with any protection when the builders aren’t on site.
Similarly, it won’t cover your property, materials or equipment if they’re stolen or damaged by fire or storms.
At the end of the day, this is your project, so it’s wise to cover every eventuality with your own insurance in place.
Find out more
Find out more
Find out more