home insurance during works


I phoned my current buildings insurer to tell them I'm having some works done. My house is a 4bed bungalow worth about 150,000, and I'm about to move out while my builder starts work. In 16-18 weeks, I'll be able to move back, into my now twice as large bungalow with 5 beds and now (hopefully) worth about 220,000. Doesn't sound that difficult, does it? Nope, Zurich frankly werent interested. After 60 days had elapsed with me not living there, my cover would all but disappear (apparently I *would* still be covered for global pestilence or something). No problem, says I, I'll simply move back in *before* the 60 days are up. Then I'll spend enough time there for the insurance company to be happy again, and then I'll move back out till the rest of the work is done. How long do I need to stay then? Well, "indefinitely", according to Zurich. Once my 60 days are up, even spread over more than once occasion, it seems I'm done. I'm not entirely sure I'm ever allowed to leave the building again. So, having cut my nose off to spite my face and told Zurich where to carefully insert my cover, I now began phoning other people looking for someone who has some sense. Ummm, no. Sorry, but it seems even the 60 days cover for empty house is only somethin extended to existing customers, not new ones. Nobody wants to offer cover. What I need is buildings and contents cover for my house as it is now, since at the moment, ahem, I'm not insured. Then, in four months or so, I want my cover to increase to match the new larger house. And if its at all possible, I'd really like whatever cover someone would like to offer for the four month period between the two. It really cant be that hard, can it? After all, many many people have extensions all the time - who do they insure with? And I reckon at least *some* of them actually move out while work is being done! Anyone have any suggestions?
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Burn the house to the ground. Then claim the insurance, add to it the money you were going to pay the builders, then have the 5 bed house built from scratch.
Alternately, get a caravan in the garden and live in that while the work is being done. You'll be living at the address which is insured, no?
Steve
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shazzbat wrote:

What a top idea!

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I am sure have seen this asked on the uk.d-i-y newsgroup. Try asking over there if you can.#
Adam
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Ask the builders to arrange for the property to be covered whilst they are working on it. They can do this. Make sure that they give you a copy of the cover note.
|I phoned my current buildings insurer to tell them I'm having some | works done. My house is a 4bed bungalow worth about 150,000, and I'm | about to move out while my builder starts work. In 16-18 weeks, I'll | be able to move back, into my now twice as large bungalow with 5 beds | and now (hopefully) worth about 220,000. Doesn't sound that | difficult, does it? | Nope, Zurich frankly werent interested. After 60 days had elapsed with | me not living there, my cover would all but disappear (apparently I | *would* still be covered for global pestilence or something). No | problem, says I, I'll simply move back in *before* the 60 days are up. | Then I'll spend enough time there for the insurance company to be | happy again, and then I'll move back out till the rest of the work is | done. How long do I need to stay then? Well, "indefinitely", according | to Zurich. Once my 60 days are up, even spread over more than once | occasion, it seems I'm done. I'm not entirely sure I'm ever allowed to | leave the building again. | So, having cut my nose off to spite my face and told Zurich where to | carefully insert my cover, I now began phoning other people looking | for someone who has some sense. Ummm, no. Sorry, but it seems even the | 60 days cover for empty house is only somethin extended to existing | customers, not new ones. Nobody wants to offer cover. What I need is | buildings and contents cover for my house as it is now, since at the | moment, ahem, I'm not insured. Then, in four months or so, I want my | cover to increase to match the new larger house. And if its at all | possible, I'd really like whatever cover someone would like to offer | for the four month period between the two. | It really cant be that hard, can it? After all, many many people have | extensions all the time - who do they insure with? And I reckon at | least *some* of them actually move out while work is being done! | Anyone have any suggestions?
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Four thoughts -
Firstly, try CIS. They tend to have "real people" who pop round and discuss your needs, rather than morons in call-centres. Our CIS policy makes no reference to non-occupancy - only that if we have "insufficient furnishings to allow us to live here" then this must be for no more then 60 days.
Secondly, why not keep you existing policy going until you've used up 60 days, then start with someone else who also allows "60 days". Just make sure the builders finish in 17 weeks.
Thirdly, check your existing policy documents carefully. Does it mention you staying and sleeping overnight, or merely "unoccupied"? The builder will be your occupier...
A little while ago, we had to insure an empty property for approx 25 months. At that time, we were with NU who had no problems at all, providing we paid the premium.
Good luck - a miserable problem to have, but rewarding when you move back into your palace....
--
Martin

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