DIY disasters could invalidate home insurance

19 March 2008 / by Daniela Gieseler
Contrary to popular belief most men are not natural DIYers and would rather avoid their home improvement duties, says a survey among 1,500 homeowners conducted by Halifax Home Insurance, who warn that DIY disasters can invalidate home insurance policies.

More than a third (37 per cent) of the men surveyed admitted they don't really like doing DIY and another third of all men feel under pressure from their partners to undertake DIY jobs.

This figure is corroborated by the fact that 31 per cent women expect their partners to carry out the necessary home improvement and 49 per cent think DIY skills are desirable a prospective partner.

Conversely, only 2 per cent of men expect their partners to be able to accomplish DIY tasks.

The survey further suggests that, in order to impress their partners, many men take on too ambitious and even possibly dangerous projects such as electric wiring or major building or gas works.

Halifax urges homeowners who do not have the necessary qualifications or experience to be cautious, because their home insurance might be invalidate if their home improvement work goes wrong.

Halifax' Senior Claims Manager Martyn Foulds explains: "TV home makeover shows make it all appear so simple, and it's easy to forget that these are highly skilled professionals."

"In reality", he continues, "trying to tackle certain areas you are not qualified for such as electrics or plumbing could invalidate your home insurance policy, leaving you liable for any subsequent damage. We'd recommend using a reputable tradesman rather than going it alone."

Halifax further advises consumers to check their policy details to see if potential damage caused by their DIY project is insured and to consider taking out additional accidental damage cover.

Better be safe than sorry - accidental damage of sinks, baths, ceramic hobs or glass in doors is included in most policies, but common DIY disasters like drilling into a water pipe or putting a foot through the ceiling might require additional cover.

© Fair Investment Company Ltd