Domestic outbuildings and conservatories can improve the appearance and value of your property, so it’s important to keep them secure and well maintained. They also fall under the definition of ‘buildings’, and as such, are covered by your Direct Line Buildings insurance, so if your property changes or expands in any way you will need to amend your policy accordingly. To help ensure your outbuildings are fully covered, check out our handy guide…
What does my ‘Buildings’ policy cover?
In addition to your main home buildings, its roofs and walls plus permanent fixtures such as kitchens and fitted wardrobes, Direct Line Buildings insurance covers footpaths, garden walls, hedges, fences, driveways, patios, terraces, gates, conservatories, garages and outbuildings. Essentially, it covers these items against structural damage based on the cost of rebuilding them – not their market value or location – and repayments will be made less your excess. Claims can be made for structural damage caused by fire, lightning, explosion, earthquake, storm, flood, subsidence or heave. Your policy also covers theft and vandalism, as long as you haven’t been away from home for more than 60 consecutive days. There are exclusions however, so make sure you check your terms and conditions.
How can I further protect my investment?
To ensure you benefit from the investment you make in your Direct Line insurance payments and to ensure you are fully covered, you will need to fulfil certain requirements. This includes taking reasonable steps to prevent loss, damage or accident, maintaining the insured property in sound condition, and paying attention to your security. Not only can intruders take valuable outbuilding contents such as power tools, lawnmowers, bicycles and golf clubs, they can also damage the structure of buildings as they try to get in. Remember, your garden is your first line of defence against burglars so why not improve security by keeping hedges and fences low at the front of the house; use gravel on driveways to alert you to visitors; keep fences and gates in good repair and use trellis or prickly plants to obstruct intruders; add locks to gates and outbuildings; install dawn-to-dusk security lighting; report faulty or broken street lighting at the front to the council, and keep ladders or similar climbing aids out of sight. To help you add or upgrade door and window locks and alarms on outbuildings such as garages, Direct Line customers can also benefit from great discounts from recommended dealers IRM Bristol online.
What happens if I extend or change any ‘buildings’?
It’s important to remember that buildings insurance is supposed to pay for the cost of rebuilding your house – and this includes any outbuildings mentioned in your policy. Therefore, if you add a garage or extension, this will change the value of the property and you may need to amend your Direct Line Building Insurance policy. Please note however that we now cover the rebuild cost of your property up to £1 million on Direct Line Home Insurance and unlimited on Direct Line Home Insurance Plus, so most buildings should be covered automatically.
If you have any queries on your Direct Line Buildings insurance, including how to amend your policy, just give us a call. You can also find discounts to help improve the security of your property online. Or if you’d like to take out a policy get a home insurance quote now.