Planning home improvements?

The rules around home improvements are more than a mere box-ticking exercise.

1 April 2021

There are ‘before and after renovation’ steps that Defence Service Homes (DSH) Insurance policyholders should keep in mind, as George Pipertzis, Assistant Director Underwriting at DSH Insurance, explains.

“If you plan to carry out any structural works to your property, you should inform us to confirm you have sufficient cover in place,” says George. “Altering the structure of the home could impact your home building insurance sum insured value.”

George’s key points to remember before and after the renovations:

  • First up, refer to your home building Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) to ensure your home is covered when under renovation. For instance, it may not cover you for work such as an opening in your roof, or for accidental damage. Contact us if unsure.

  • Consider project timelines from start to completion and whether you’ll be staying at the house or moving out during the work.

  • Ensure you have the necessary plans and permits.

  • Ensure your builder or tradespeople have the required insurance. Work undertaken by non-qualified tradespeople may contribute to damage that is not covered by your insurance policy, which can potentially mean a reduced claim payout or even rejection of your claim. Always refer to your policy wording to be on the safe side. Tradespeople need to have professional indemnity and public liability insurances in place.

Once the renovations are complete, we suggest you calculate the adequacy of your sum insured via the building cost calculator on our website. If your sum insured is too low, you might not have adequate building or contents cover. Email us if you would like to increase your sum insured.

Does that mean your insurance premium will go up?

If your house increases in size due to the renovations and would cost more to rebuild in the event of a total loss claim, then your premium might increase depending on whether the current sum insured amount is adequate. You can check your sum insured through our home building calculator and notify us via email to update your policy details.

Being insured is about being confident. Some people revel in home renovations; others balk at the thought. Whatever camp you fall into, it’s important to be sure you get back to normal if the unexpected happens.

Got questions?

Email us: dsh [at] dva.gov.au () or visit our website www.dsh.gov.au.

Disclaimer: This article is based on general insurance advice that only applies to the DSH Insurance building Product Disclosure Statement (PDS). Each PDS is different, based on an individual’s unique needs, so please refer to your PDS before starting any renovations.

A couple examine house plans in their kitchen.