With the second May Bank Holiday on the horizon, many of us will turn our attention to a little DIY to give our homes a makeover in time for the summer.
But while the improving weather may mean we can throw open the doors and windows and get stuck into cleaning, painting, maintaining and generally ringing the changes in our homes, it’s also a time of year that traditionally sees a peak in home insurance claims as DIY goes wrong. Here are some of the things to watch out for if you’re embarking on a bit of DIY this weekend.
It may be the perfect time to paint the house, but this relatively simple task has resulted in many a home insurance claim. Spilled paint is the prime suspect, but you can minimise the chances of it ruining your carpet or wooden flooring by spreading dust sheets across the area you’re painting and avoiding the perilous perching of tins of paint on the ladder rungs.
Whether you’re drilling, hammering or even purposefully knocking through a wall, it’s all too easy to end up with holes in places you didn’t mean them to be. These can be tricky to fix, so careful planning is needed if you’re to avoid making costly mistakes. Map out exactly where your holes should go and mark them in pencil before you start.
Fire and water damage
Using flammable fluids and tampering with walls near electricity cables, water and gas pipes all have the potential to result in fire or water damage to your home. If you’re planning to carry out potentially dangerous DIY work, consider whether it’s something best left to the professionals, and ensure you take adequate safety precautions if you’re set on doing it yourself. Always turn everything off at the mains before you get started.
Furniture is often an innocent bystander to our DIY efforts, and that puts it in the firing line. Keep it safe during your home improvements by covering it with dust sheets to avoid paint splashes, and using a ladder rather than standing on furniture to reach high-up places. If possible, move the furniture into another room to keep it out of harm’s way.
Finally, it’s not just your home that can suffer at the hands of DIY mishaps; the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents estimates that around 200,000 of us are injured each year as a result of DIY going wrong. Falls, cuts, hammered fingers, objects dropped on toes, sprained ankles, electric shocks… the list of potential DIY injuries is long, so wear appropriate safety equipment if you’re carrying out the work to your home.
So, if you’re planning to get stuck into some DIY this spring, make sure you don’t fall foul of these common mishaps – and check that you’re covered for accidental damage on your home insurance just in case. If the worst should happen, call your insurer as soon as possible after the accident to get the help you need.
Accidental damage cover
‘Standard’ home insurance policies often include a degree of ‘accidental damage’ cover for items such as, for contents; televisions, radios, home computers (non-portable), recording equipment, mirrors, glass tops or fixed glass in furniture, and for buildings; sanitary fittings (which form part of the property) including glass solar-panel units, fixed baths, wash basins, toilet pans and cisterns.
At an extra cost, insurers will also give you the option to include additional ‘accidental damage’ cover which will then extend to include other items. This will usually be around 10 to 15 percent of the premium but can vary between insurers.
Typical examples of when you may need this extra cover would be, for contents; a paint spillage on your prized sofa, and for buildings; if you were to slip whilst rummaging in the loft, your foot slips and you find it suddenly peeping through one of the ceilings below.
It’s important to mention though, as much as we love our dear pets, unfortunately, damage caused by ‘Sooty’ or ‘Patch’ is not covered.
Please get in touch with your nearest A-Plan branch to find out more and to check your coverage.