At a glance
  • Basement Extensions can add substantial value to your home
  • Popular in cities where property is at a premium
  • Standard home insurance policies are unlikely to cover you, a specialist contract works policy is needed
9th January 2017

Insuring your Basement Extension

Basement Conversion

It’s found that basement conversions can add substantial value to your home, and as such they are becoming more popular. With rising house prices, especially in cities, homeowners are more likely to extend their home than move, putting contract works insurance at the forefront of our minds.

Down has become the new up - sometimes to a depth of 12 metres or three stories - to create a pool and spa areas, media rooms, squash courts, gyms and garaging for Ferrari collections. However, increasing the size of your home by digging out an existing cellar or creating an underground space beneath your garden is a complex project.

During contract works, your property is at a greater risk from factors outside of your control, and with basement extensions especially your neighbouring properties are also at risk. This is why there is a greater need for adequate contractors all risk insurance.

Before any work takes place, you must first notify your home insurance provider. Unfortunately, the vast majority of home insurance providers are unable to accommodate contract works or will look to reduce the standard policy coverage whilst these are ongoing, which could lead to a costly or voided claim. In this instance, you will need the help of a specialist broker like Lark to provide you with a contract works insurance solution.

In addition to making sure your existing property is insured you need to check that your contractors are correctly insured and you should make certain that their insurance requirements are included within your contract with them.

 One final point, consider the proximity of neighboring properties and the liability of the owner under statute Law.  The Party Wall Act makes the owner liable for any damage caused to an adjoining owner and any adjoining occupier as a result of the works being undertaken.

With Lark, you will get guidance that goes beyond the insurance of the existing structure.

We will provide assistance with the insurance of the proposed works, the type of contract being signed and the adequacy of your contractors’ insurances.

We can also meet with you and your project manager/architect to discuss your specific situation.

With a Lark contract works insurance policy, you will have complete peace of mind, knowing that you have done everything possible to ensure that you have sourced the best possible cover to support your renovation project. Our dedicated Contract Works team will be happy to help with any enquiries.

Also, you can read our Contract Works Factsheet, where you will find a step-by-step guide on your role before, during and after contract works have taken place.

We also have a handy Contract Works Glossary that provides you with all the terms you need to understand contract works insurance.