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DIY: love it or hate it?

DIY: love it or hate it?

DIY for the wrong reasons

It’s the time of year when thousands of Brits knock about their homes while doing DIY projects that vary from a simple paint job to putting in a whole new bathroom.

But latest statistics from the insurer Policy Expert show that many do so for reasons which court disaster, and almost half aren’t even sure if their home insurance will cover them if things go horribly wrong.

Many hate DIY, but do it anyway

In a survey of over 3,800 Policy Expert customers, one-in-five admit that they while they hate doing DIY, they would rather have a go than pay a tradesman to do it. Simply doing DIY to save money, rather than because you perhaps know what you’re doing, doesn’t bode well.

Indeed, a significant number, one-in-ten, say they’ll be having a go despite never attempting a DIY project before!


The cost of DIY disasters

The average DIY ‘disaster’ may only cost £127, Policy Expert’s statistics reveal, but there will be plenty of projects that go wrong with much costlier implications.

If you plumb a bathroom in badly, for example, and water floods into a ceiling space, bringing it down onto whatever furniture, fittings and possessions lie below, the cost of damage could run into the thousands.

Making sure you can claim for DIY bungles

And many may not even be able to claim to have things put right by a professional as four out of ten say they’re not sure if they have the correct home cover!

The problem is that many policies don’t allow claims for accidental damage. So if you knock down a support wall without realising it, and the structure of your house is seriously affected, you wouldn’t be able to claim the thousands it would cost to correct it.

Accidental damage sometimes comes as standard, but not with all home cover. If you’re about to undertake some serious DIY you should check with your insurance provider to see if you definitely have it or not. It shouldn’t cost much to add to a policy if you don’t.

Insurers and major work

If the job is seriously big, such as adding an extension, or converting a loft into a bedroom, you should talk to your insurer, whether you’re sure you have accidental damage cover included or not.

Anything which changes the dimensions and living space of the house can also change the home’s ‘risk profile’, and therefore potentially invalidate your cover if you don’t mention what’s being done.


Most common DIY disasters

There aren’t many surprises in the most commonly experienced DIY disasters revealed by Policy Expert’s research, but a good few could certainly lead to financial ruin, such as electrical fires. Here are the most often cited:

  • Stepping or falling through a ceiling into the room below.
  • Cutting or drilling through water pipes.
  • Knocking through the wrong walls
  • Putting up faulty shelves and having shelves collapse
  • Paint pots being knocked over and ruining carpets.
  • Electrical fires being started.
  • Choosing and applying the wrong coloured paint.
  • Falling off ladders.

The Head of Operations at Policy Expert, Adam Powell, advises that “if you’re not confident with your toolbox, but want to have a go yourself, it’s a good idea to check with your insurance provider first, to make sure you’re not in for an expensive surprise.”


Policy Expert

If your home is your haven, you’ll want it to have the best protection. Compare quotes from our range of handpicked insurers and tailor a policy to suit you. For more information, you can call our experts on 0330 0600 600 or visit for more ways to reach us.


Published 21 April 2017