Rogue workmen have cost British householders £6.8billion by doing bodge jobs and leaving the homeowner to foot the bill, research from Santander home insurance has warned.
According to the study, one in five Brits have been victims of cowboy builders, who are causing billions of pounds of damage to homes across the country – an average of £1,592 per botched job.
Santander home insurance is urging consumers to think carefully about who they hire to do a job, ensuring that they are reputable and reliable, and not just offering the cheapest quote.
Going for the most inexpensive option could prove false economy if the customer then has to pay to undo the damage they have done, the home insurance provider warns, and with a third of Brits planning to make home improvements this year, there is a lot of room for cowboy traders top take advantage of households looking for a bargain.
Miguel Sard, CEO at Santander Insurance UK, said: "Unfortunately anyone can call themselves a builder, but the potential damage that could be caused by rogue tradesmen is staggering. We are encouraging anyone looking to hire a contractor to work on their home, to ensure that they have a reputable background."
Of those people who inadvertently chose a rogue builder, 10 per cent admitted that they simply went for the cheapest quote, rather than making sure they were recommended and recognised by a trade body.
Being recommended by a friend is not enough either, Santander's research shows, as 25 per cent of victims were duped this way, while 10 per cent of rogue traders were actually the friend, and a further 20 per cent of victims said they were duped by what looked like a legitimate company.
And, more than a third of those households who have fallen victim to rogue traders end up footing the bill for any necessary repairs themselves. A further 18 per cent are still living with the damage, which has not been repaired.
To avoid becoming a victim of rogue traders, Santander home insurance recommends avoiding being swayed by the cheapest deal, being persuaded by the trader, or paying in advance, and checking they have reputable third party endorsements.
Santander home insurance offers a 'Peace of Mind' policy, which include unlimited cover for buildings, unlimited sum for alternative accommodation, no extra charge for paying by direct debit, and a 24 hour emergency helpline.
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