It’s no secret that the rise in home renovation programs such as House Rules has driven a huge demand in DIY-style renovations across Australia. Over the past six years, the number of Allianz Australia customers advising that they’re undertaking renovations has more than doubled – and the DIY trend is here to stay.
With the growing cost of living and rising house prices helping to fuel the DIY renovation craze research indicates that one in three Aussies are considering renovating their property in the next five years.
According to Allianz Australia Property Assessing Manager, Geordie Elliott, despite the popularity of DIY, many Aussie’s dive head-first into renovations without proper planning, jeopardising the very thing they’re working so hard to perfect, their home.
“We all want the dream home, with the landscaped garden and the perfect paint job, but we’re forgetting to protect our home during the process – and beyond,” explains Geordie.
“Renovations aren’t just a financial commitment, they’re an emotional and physical one too – particularly if you opt for DIY. Yet, protecting our homes properly with insurance is often overlooked by many Aussie homeowners.”
While insurance may not be at the top of everyone’s renovation list, Geordie suggests four simple steps that Aussies can take to ensure their home is protected for years to come.
- Know your cover
Many people diving head-first into renovations simply assume their current will offer protection during renovations. What some don’t realise is that there are certain elements to a renovation that can influence their cover. For example, if you opt to vacate your home during construction for more than 60 days, your policy may not be valid. There’s one simple way to avoid any surprises along the way, and that’s to follow step two.
- Pick up the phone
It’s a simple step that many Aussies forget to take – calling their insurance company to let them know they’re planning to renovate. There are no changes to the cover on your existing policy unless the renovations you are planning to do are going to cost more than what your policy limits allow, in which case you may need to explore an additional construction policy with your insurer to confirm you’re protected along the way.
For many homeowners, a large scale renovation would usually involve a licensed builder with their own insurances – though it’s important to check these too, so you can rest easy during the build.
- Details, not just decorations
While a throw cushion and a fresh lick of paint are fabulous finishing touches, it’s the details and not just the decorations which are important to address in every renovation, regardless of the scale of work that you’re doing.
Use the renovations as an opportunity to replace loose roof tiles or timeworn guttering and do a simple check of old taps and flexi hoses (a plumbing connection from the water main to major appliances, sinks and toilets that is one of the top reasons for water damage to a home). The cost to do so is often less than your excess in the unfortunate event that you need to make a claim. By being proactive about the smaller details through the renovation process, you can protect yourself from the hassle, cost and emotional toll of a major insurance claim down the track.
- Protect the prize
You’ve wrapped the renovation and are planning the house warming party, now’s the time to protect all your hard work. Whether you’ve invested $5,000 or $500,000 into your modern home upgrade, it’s important to review and update your home and contents insurance cover to ensure you wouldn’t be out of pocket in a claim by relying on your old policy.
By using the simple online home and contents calculators on the Allianz website, you may be able to determine what your cover should be. A simple call is then all it takes to update your policy so you can get on planning that party.