Faced with the reality of spending an unprecedented amount of time at home, many Australians are discovering the upside is they can start on those home improvements that they had previously been saving for a rainy day.
It’s now more important than ever to ensure your insurance works for you and keeps you covered while you spend more time inside your home.
Many Australians are using their down-time to make improvements on their property, by undertaking renovations and DIY projects.
While this can add to the comfort and ultimately the value of your home, it’s critical to take care when carrying out this sort of work, lest it catch up with you down the track.
Poor workmanship or using the wrong materials can affect insurance claims at a later date.
It’s also crucial to use qualified professionals for any plumbing or electrical work – firstly to avoid accidents, and secondly you may find your insurance policy will not cover you if you do this work yourself.
You also need to make sure any renovations comply with your local council’s building regulations.
Divisional chief executive of Claims Central Mark Cohen says it’s also important to appreciate the risks you face when doing home improvements.
“Ladders and power tools are a recipe for disaster,” he warns. “We’re in a health crisis, so now’s not the time to end up in hospital after fixing the roof or cleaning the gutters.”
Some policies also have exclusions for water damage incurred as a result of a DIY renovation. Check your policy’s product disclosure statement to make sure you understand what’s covered and what’s not before you start any home renovation projects.
Renovations can, of course, add value to your home. Before undertaking a renovation, look into whether you need to increase the value of your policy to take into account any improvements.
Those working from home, often with a new home office set-up, should also make sure the space doesn’t expose the household to additional risks.
Prepare the space properly and have a plan before you move any furniture. Check that power boards are not overloaded and make sure power cords don’t cause trip hazards.
Make sure your cover is up to date
It’s a good idea to check your home and contents cover and ensure you’re fully protected should an accident occur.
Domain Insure make it easy to update your cover any time within your policy period to reflect any home improvements that may affect your property’s insured sum value. You can also save up to 12 per cent on the cost of your premium by applying online.
Claim from your couch
You can make a claim from your home if you suffer an accident while on the property. Once you’ve submitted your claim over the phone, you’ll be assigned a dedicated relationship manager who will help you through the process.
In the face of COVID-19, Domain Insure have adapted their claims response to ensure your household remains safe.
Their network of repairers and suppliers will closely adhere to all health and safety advice from authorities and will be using technology to complete live video assessments to limit contact.