One in seven (14 per cent) UK adults have faced a home improvement mishap within the last 3 years according to new research from Sainsbury’s Bank Home Insurance(1).
The Supermarket Bank is urging homeowners to make sure they are not leaving themselves uninsured when it comes to making improvements to their homes.

Over Easter, 38% of people told the Bank they were planning to undertake DIY work on their home or garden over the two day Easter bank holiday. With two more bank holidays to follow in May, similar levels of DIY activity could be in the offing.

The would be DIY-ers indicated that men were more likely to undertake the work than women, in particular carpentry (13 per cent v 4 per cent) and plumbing (10 per cent v 2 per cent)(1).

Whoever takes on the DIY duties, it’s important to make sure you have good quality home insurance in place that covers accidental damage as mishaps can happen.

The most common mishaps to happen when renovating include(1):

Planned activity Percentage of people who suffered a mishap
Flooring damaged by tools / equipment / spilled pain 5 per cent
Damage to internal walls 3 per cent
Electrical damage 3 per cent
Damage to pipes due to hammering with a nail leading to flood damage 2 per cent
Damage to sanitary goods 2 per cent
Damage to pipes due to hammering a nail, with no further damage to home 2 per cent
Crucially, if you’re undertaking major works for example building an extension, changing your windows or converting your loft, you must make sure your tradesmen are fully insured, and it’s important to let your insurer know of any planned activity in advance.

Once the work is complete you should alert your insurer, as new rooms etc will have a bearing on your buildings cover and you’ll want to make sure you’ve also adjusted your contents cover if you’ve added new furnishings or TVs etc.

The research findings show that of those who have undertaken renovation work at their property in the last 3 years just a fifth (21 per cent) notified their insurer, and 7 per cent only did so once the work was complete(1).

Those in London are most likely to have pre-warned their insurer ahead of works (41 per cent), whilst those in East of England leave themselves most open to risk with less than one in ten (9 per cent) telling their insurer they were completing work.

Karen Hogg, Head of Insurances at Sainsbury’s Bank, said: “We’re a nation of DIY lovers and many of us will be planning some home or garden work over the coming weeks.

“Our research shows that just under a quarter of people undertaking work had notified their insurer, which may lead to them being uninsured.”

Sainsbury’s Bank’s home insurance gives UK consumers peace of mind of knowing they’re covered. Our home insurance products are 5 Star Rated by Defaqto and we offer home contents cover up to £75,000 as standard(2).

With Sainsbury’s Bank Optional Damage Cover, we’ll insure you for mishaps like putting your foot through the attic floor, spilling paint on a floor or carpet, drilling through a water pipe or cutting through a cable. In a nutshell, it gives you extra protection against accidental damage to your home that isn’t covered under the main buildings insurance policy(2). This level of cover is optional.

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