With light at the end of the stagnant UK property tunnel due to a relaxing of the Covid lockdown restrictions, we’re working closely with our Brokers to support private clients with their renovation insurance needs.  
 
Although at first glance property market stagnation seems the norm in the UK at the moment; in reality, average house prices increased by 2.1% over the year to March 2020, up from 2.0% in February 2020, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). 
 
While most ‘conventional’ buyers have been told to delay their property buying transactions due to safety issues, those buyers who are scheduled to move into an empty property are now allowed to go ahead – as are renovations on properties that were in progress or due to start pre lockdown.  
 
This provides the ideal opportunity for Brokers to catch up with private clients to check on the progress of their projects and to help them comply with their insurance policy requirements, to make sure they have the appropriate cover in place. We encourage Brokers to review their live policies, contact their clients to clarify current activity and advise them. 
 
At Renovation Underwriting, we’ve prepared a dedicated online resource of FAQ articles and videos to best advise our Broker network on key insurance principles during Covid-19, and the effect that the situation may have on current and future policies.
 
The Importance of Keeping Clients Engaged with Material Facts
 
More than 500,000 planning permissions for residential alterations and renovations were issued in 2018 alone.  But according to our in-house market research, a whopping 86% of renovators didn’t notify their insurers that they were undertaking building work because they weren’t aware that they needed to. 
 
As the renovation market slowly emerges out of lockdown, many of your private clients will be looking to commence renovation work - and your active support will help those clients understand exactly what cover they need. Our market research also identified that out of 1000 High Net Worth (HNW) private clients, 60-70 will undertake building and renovation works every year - but only 10% will take out the right insurance.
 
It is imperative that you ask your clients at inception of their new household policy (or at its renewal), if they intend to do any building works to the premises in the forthcoming period of insurance - and tell them why it is important. The reason most policyholders don’t call their broker about works is that they are unaware they need to. Educating clients that a change in circumstances, of any sort, relating to the property may require further underwriting or if undeclared lead to a claim being refused by their insurer.
 
Please do take a look at the Covid-19 resource area for further insights – or get in touch to talk to one of the team about how we can help support you and your clients at this time.
 

Categories: Blog

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