Home Improvements Could Leave Prospective Sellers Under-Insured

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With a sluggish housing market, homeowners thinking of upgrading or extending their homes to increase saleability should be careful not to become under-insured, warns Confused.com.

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Additions to the home such as conservatories or extensions are costly, and while they tend to increase the value of the property, this is money thrown away if home insurers are not informed and the improvement is subsequently, say, damaged in a fire.

Homeowners turning to DIY and home improvements in order to give their property a boost need to be aware that neglecting to inform their home insurance provider of any additions to the house's build/value will mean that these additions will not be covered by their policy.

For example, an extension adding £20,000 of value to a property will go uninsured unless buildings insurance is upgraded to specifically cover it. Failure to cover the extension means that the homeowner could be liable for any repair bill should something go wrong. Therefore, anyone making such improvements should be mindful of keeping their buildings insurance policy up to date, as the rebuild cost will rise accordingly.

Confused.com Product Director Simon Lamble said: "Additions to the home such as conservatories or extensions are costly, and while they tend to increase the value of the property, this is money thrown away if home insurers are not informed and the improvement is subsequently, say, damaged in a fire."

"Likewise, if homeowners realise that they are staying put, and decide to indulge in a little luxury - such as upgrading their old TV to an expensive plasma or LCD screen - it's also sensible to check that these will be covered under their existing contents insurance. If their price exceeds the valuable items limit, remember to declare them separately."

Note also that some home insurance providers request to be informed when building contractors are working on a property. To this end, homeowners are advised to check their policies.

About Confused.com:

Confused.com is one of the UK's biggest and most popular price comparison services. Launched in 2002, it dominates the car insurance aggregator market with a massive 70% market share and generates over one million quotes per month. It has expanded its range of comparison products over the last couple of years to include home insurance, travel insurance, pet insurance, van insurance, motorbike insurance, breakdown cover and energy, as well as financial services products including credit cards, loans, mortgages and life insurance.

Confused.com has 62 motor insurance partners, and customers can save up to on average £208. It also has a panel of 43 for home insurance, and customers who use Confused.com for home insurance can expect to save up to £193.

Confused.com is not a supplier, insurance company or broker. It provides a free, objective and unbiased comparison service. By using cutting-edge technology, it has developed a series of intelligent web-based solutions that evaluate a number of risk factors to help customers with their decision-making, subsequently finding them great deals on a wide-range of insurance products, financial services, utilities and more. Confused.com's service is based on the most up-to-date information provided by UK suppliers and industry regulators.

Confused.com is owned by the Admiral Group plc. Admiral listed on the London Stock Exchange in September 2004. Confused.com is regulated by the FSA.

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Caroline Spindlove