Do I need insurance when renovating my home?

19 May 2021

Before you pick up a hammer — or hire someone else to do so — you should know the facts about home insurance while renovating. Think about:

  • whether your insurance covers you during the reno period,
  • what might void your policy, and
  • what types of projects are covered.

Why you need to be properly insured

The weather isn’t put on hold when your house is under renovation — the risk of flood*, storm and fire remain. So, it’s important to make sure you’re properly insured, even if you’re still in the building phase.

 What types of insurance policies cover renovations?

Suncorp Home and Contents Insurance

Suncorp Home and Contents Insurance covers up to 12 months of legal liability on home renovations, alterations or building extensions — if the work is worth less than $50,000 in total.

Even though we cover legal liability in some cases, the renovations themselves (and their resultant damage) won’t be covered. However, we’ll cover damage to your home caused by unrelated events, like flood* or storm, that happen during the renovation period — just remember to let us know before you start any renos, no matter how small.

Get a Home Insurance Quote

Tradies' Insurance

Tradies’ insurance, otherwise known as builders' or contractors' insurance, may provide some cover for larger projects. Before you start any project, ask your tradie what their insurance covers.

What about DIY projects?

Picture this: you’re working on a small DIY project and you accidentally smash your TV or knock a glass of red wine onto your new white carpet.

Luckily, Suncorp Home and Contents Insurance has your contents covered for reno-related accidents like these — as long as the home modifications are minor. Wondering what renos may count as minor? Anything that doesn’t alter the structure of your home, for example, changing a partition wall or replacing floating floor boards.

Whether or not you’ll be covered depends on the cost, nature and duration of the work — so always contact us before you start any project.

Secure your home

A house that’s being renovated may catch the eye of opportunistic burglars, so be sure to secure your home. Make it look as lived in as possible. Here are some ways to protect yourself:

  • Put up a security fence.
  • Leave the lights on when the property is unattended.
  • Clear your mail regularly.
  • Store valuables in a secure container or move them offsite.

Keep your property occupied, where possible

Certain reno projects require you to move out of your home for extended periods of time. Before you pack your bags, know that you’ll have to pay a higher excess if you make a claim for an incident that occurs while your home was unoccupied for more than 60 days. Plan things out with your builder in advance, so you won’t hit this limit.

Remember to update your policy!

Seeing your reno goals come to life is bound to bring a lot of satisfaction. But hold up — before you get out the wine glasses and invite the guests, remember to contact your insurer. Renovations add value to your home, and chances are, your home insurance policy needs to be updated. To avoid being underinsured, consider revaluing your home.

Updating your home insurance policy? Suncorp has your back

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*Actions or movements of the sea and storm surge are not covered (unless the storm surge damage occurs at the same time as damage caused by storm). Other exclusions apply.

Insurance issued by AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807 trading as Suncorp Insurance. Read the Product Disclosure Statement before buying this insurance. Go to for a copy. This advice has been prepared without taking into account your particular objectives, financial situations or needs, so you should consider whether it is appropriate for you before acting on it.

The information is intended to be of general nature only. Subject to any rights you may have under any law, we do not accept any legal responsibility for any loss or damage, including loss of business or profits or any other indirect loss, incurred as a result of reliance upon the information. Please make your own enquiries.