Home insurance could protect from £173 million of DIY disasters

15 April 2008 / by Rebecca Sargent
British homeowners who take it upon themselves to do their own home improvements cause £173 million of damage to their neighbour's properties each year.

According to research from Halifax Home Insurance, almost 600,000 British homeowners have had their properties damaged by a neighbours' attempts at DIY, costing an average of £291 each time.

Even more annoying for the victims of incidents of DIY-gone-wrong is that more than a third have had to foot the bill and get the damage repaired themselves, and a further 27 per cent of incidents saw the costs shared between the two parties.

The incidents included calamities of various degrees, such as escaped water from pierced pipes making its way on to the other property, adjoining walls being demolished, and damage to the neighbour's personal belongings.

The South-East accounts for almost a third of all reports of 'Neighbourhood Bothers', 27 per cent reside in Northern England, and while Scotland accounts for just 11 per cent of the UK's total Do It Yourself disasters, the average catastrophe costs Scottish homeowners £817 – the highest average cost in the country.

David Rochester, head of underwriting at Halifax Home Insurance, said: "A number of errant DIYers are not just damaging their properties, but their neighbours' homes too. But even more interesting is that so many victims handle the situation with typically British aplomb. Indeed, over two-thirds of them chose to pay towards the cost of repairing their home - rather than create a fuss."

He added that perhaps these stiff upper lipped homeowners weren't aware that they could have made a claim on their neighbour's home insurance policy to recoup their damages, which can offer cover for domestic mishaps and DIY disasters under home contents insurance policies.

© Fair Investment Company Ltd