As a result of increased home renovations, escape of water insurance claims also look set to rise
A recent study by specialist insurer Hiscox, has revealed that, in the last five years, the number of home owners in the UK choosing to stay put and invest in their existing property instead of moving has soared.
In 2013 just 3% of home owners took the decision to improve instead of move, but this has increased to 15% (26% amongst those aged 18 to 34) the research shows.
“The decision to improve instead of move is a new normal for home owners whose lifestyles are evolving. People are looking at ways to adapt their existing homes to meet their changing needs, whether that’s a growing family or the beginnings of a new home business” said Phil Thorn, head of direct home insurance at Hiscox UK & Ireland.
“Many view home renovations as an easier or more economical alternative to moving, but our report highlights that these projects are often underestimated in both cost and scale” he added.
The research also found that many home owners are unaware that renovating without telling their insurer first can leave them with little or no cover. This is perhaps why only 17% of those who’ve previously renovated or are currently doing so notified their home insurer before work started, falling to 10% amongst those aged over 55.
‘A home is the most valuable asset the majority of people will ever own, so before making substantial changes to it, make sure you’ve got the right experts and tradesman and the right level of insurance. Many home insurers will limit or even withdraw the cover they provide when major renovations are undertaken, so having a conversation to understand whether extra cover is needed is also really important,’ Thorn explained.
Chris Edwards head of insurance at Plastic Surgeon added to this:
“This rising trend to renovate, is also increasing the risk of escape of water incidents occurring.
One in five insurance claims are due to an escape of water, between 2014 and 2016 the total cost of domestic escape of water claims jumped by 24% and in the last three years the average cost of these claims has risen by 31%.
Chris continued: “The increase in these claims is largely due to this renovation trends, the new methods of construction and changes in lifestyle, i.e. new trends for wet rooms, wooden floors and underfloor heating, but also the renovation of buildings into multi tenanted properties is having a HUGE impact, and when we have weather events like the recent ‘Beast From The East’ this exacerbates the issue.”
The most common repairs that Plastic Surgeon complete for escape of water claims are kitchen units, wooden floors and plinths, it is here that their unique and highly technical colour matching skill really come into play:
Continues Chris: “Our approach to repairing items which have been damaged as a result of an escape of water, reduces considerably the cost of replacing items, no waste is incurred and the policy holder has far less disruption, in most cases a repair approach is also much quicker reducing cycle times substantially.”