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Before checking YouTube, check you’re covered

Posted on Friday 20th of November 2015.

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With a seemingly-endless supply of online hints, tips and walk-through guides available at the click of a button, you may feel more confident about tackling tasks that you may previously have left to an expert.

But before you get started, it’s worth bearing in mind that British property owners pay out a massive £4.4 billion to repair the damage done by DIY. If you are diving into a project, do remember to take care, ensure you have the tools and knowledge for the job you’re undertaking - and check your insurance cover before you begin.

Check your policy for Accidental Damage cover

Despite our best intentions, accidents do happen. Having the correct home insurance in place before you begin a DIY project will mean your policy will pay out to repair any damage or replace any broken or damaged items.

You may think that a standard home insurance policy would cover all of this. But without Accidental Damage cover (which only comes as an additional cover with some policies), the results of a stray drill, spilled paint or blown electrics may not be covered. Standard home insurance also tends to provide only limited cover for accidental damage to things like windows and bathroom fittings.

Full Accidental Damage covers for scenarios such as:

Buildings

  • Repair of a burst pipe caused by drilling through the wall to put up a shelf
  • Putting your electrics back in working order after a botched rewiring job
  • Repairing your ceiling after a foot has gone through the loft floor

Contents

  • Replacing your carpet after spilling a tin of paint
  • Covering the cost of valuable ornaments damaged by the failure of TV wall mountings
  • Replacing garden furniture damaged by falling tree branches

As with every type of insurance cover, there are exclusions and excesses that will apply, so it is important that you check your cover meets your needs and expectations.

Know when to call in the professionals

Be honest with yourself about the limits of your knowledge when it comes to the task at hand. Do you understand it well enough to do it safely? Would you benefit from some proper training or guidance first, which you may be able to pick up for free from the local DIY store?

Or, should you simply leave it to the professionals? Some jobs, like those listed below, have a higher risk of going wrong – along with more costly consequences:

  • Electrical work
  • Plumbing
  • Structural renovations
  • Roof repair

A surprising one in ten DIY attempts in the UK needs attention for a professional, after the initial attempt fails, so you might actually save yourself time, money and hassle by hiring a qualified tradesman from the outset.