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Revealed: The DIY top 10

Interior redecoration, flooring and a new bathroom head the list
Accidental damage warning as just 16% of home insurance policies
include cover as standard

A new survey* into the UK’s top home improvements reveals that a lick of paint, a new floor and a bathroom makeover top the list of work carried out by homeowners in the last 5 years.

Commissioned by GoCompare Home Insurance, the survey also revealed that most work (68%) is undertaken to improve a property’s general appearance rather than essential maintenance (38%).

Energy efficiency improvements featured strongly in the list including installing a new boiler or central heating system and improving insulation.

Top 10 home improvements carried out in last 5 years
1. Interior redecoration 50%
2. Replaced the flooring (laid new carpet, wood floor, etc.) 31%
3. Installed a new bathroom 29%
4. Garden makeover 25%
5. New kitchen fitted 25%
6. Installed new boiler or central heating system 25%
7. Fitted new windows/double glazing 21%
8. Installed a new shed or garden building 16%
9. Exterior redecoration 13%
10. Improved the insulation 13%

Beyond the top 10, adding a patio or decking to the garden (9%), electrical rewiring (8%), building an extension (6%), and a new roof (6%) completed the run-down.

Most (87%) homeowners have carried out work on their properties in the last 5 years but only a quarter had spoken to their insurer about their plans or changes they had made.  Home insurance policies typically exclude cover for structural alterations, renovations, poor workmanship and faulty materials.  So, homeowners tackling major projects they are not qualified to do – such as electrical or plumbing work – could invalidate their insurance.

Before undertaking any major changes to their home, such as adding an en-suite or knocking through rooms, homeowners should consult their insurer to ensure they don’t unintentionally void their policy.

Household building and contents insurance policies generally don’t cover accidental damage to the building or belongings unless cover has been specifically added. So, if a homeowner has a DIY accident while redecorating a room or puts their foot through a ceiling while laying loft insulation, they won’t be covered unless they’ve bought the extra protection.

Analysis** of 414 buildings insurance and 428 contents insurance policies by GoCompare Home Insurance revealed that only 16% of buildings and 15% of contents insurance policies include accidental damage as a standard feature.  Accidental damage cover can be added to most policies for an additional premium but, a small number of policies (1% of building and 2% of contents) make no provision whatsoever.

Commenting on the research, Ben Wilson, from GoCompare Home Insurance said, “Before undertaking any home improvements it’s a good idea to dig out your household insurance to check whether you’re covered if things go wrong.  While you don’t need to inform your insurer about routine decorating or maintenance, it’s a worthwhile precaution to check whether you’re covered for accidental damage.

“If you’re planning a major renovation project, particularly if it involves structural changes, one of the first things you should do is to review your buildings and contents insurance to make sure that you have adequate cover both during and after the work has been completed. Otherwise, you could find that you aren’t covered or worse still you might invalidate your policy.

Ben Wilson continued, “It’s also important to note that most home insurance policies don’t cover tradesmen or their work so, before you employ anyone check they have their own insurance in place.  You should also check that any tradesmen you use are qualified to carry out the work and registered with a recognised governing body.”

To help homeowners work out how much different home improvements could add to the value of their home, GoCompare Home Insurance has produced a ‘Property Investment Calculator’.  The calculator shows the estimated profit after the average cost of works have been deducted:



For further information please contact:

Anders Nilsson or Martyn John at GoCompare on 01633 654 054 / 01633 654 725

Gordon, Jason or Liz at MAW Communications on 01603 505 845

Keep up-to-date with GoCompare on Twitter; @GoCompare

Notes to editors

*On the 19 March 2018, Bilendi conducted an online survey among 1,275 randomly selected British adults who are Maximiles UK panellists and homeowners.  The margin of error-which measures sampling variability-is +/- 2.2%. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and regional data to ensure samples representative of the entire adult population of United Kingdom. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

**Source: Defaqto Matrix of 414 buildings and 428 home contents insurance policies – instant and unbiased market and competitor intelligence, from independent financial researcher Defaqto.  Percentages are rounded up to the nearest whole number.

About GoCompare

GoCompare is a comparison website that enables people to compare the costs and features of a wide variety of insurance policies, financial products and energy tariffs.

GoCompare does not charge people to use its services, and it does not accept advertising or sponsored listings, so all product comparisons are unbiased. Gocompare makes its money through fees paid by the providers of products that appear on its various comparison services when a customer buys through the site.

GoCompare does not sell its customers’ data.

When it launched in 2006, it was the first comparison site to focus on displaying policy details rather than just listing prices, with the aim of helping people to make better-informed decisions when buying their insurance. GoCompare has remained dedicated to helping people choose the most appropriate products rather than just the cheapest, and has teamed up with Defaqto, the independent financial researcher, to integrate additional policy information into a number of its insurance comparison services. This allows people to compare up to an extra 30 features of cover.

GoCompare is the only comparison website to be invited to join the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

For more information visit www.gocompare.com and www.gocomparegroup.com