Supporting a more unusual contract works requirement

Here at Renovation Insurance Brokers, we are experts in placing insurance for large scale property renovations and part of this is an ability to provide good cover for non-standard items.

In one of our most unusual requests, we were recently asked to arrange cover for a £500,000 church organ which was going to be installed at an insured property.

The custom-made organ was manufactured on the continent and was shipped to the risk address for installation towards the end of the project. We covered this valuable and fragile item from the point it was offloaded on site; tagging it on from the point that the cover provided by the shipper ceased.


When referring to a property’s contents, we are looking at items that are loose; things that are not actually attached the property. But with the organ ultimately due to be physically fixed to the building, it needed to be identified in another way; as part of the ‘contract works’.

An item such as this will only be classed as ‘fixtures and fittings’, and therefore part of the Buildings sum insured, from the point of practical completion. Until that point, it is classed as an item of ‘contract works’. This is true of any item which is to be affixed to the structure.

An exceptional renovation requirement for sure, but just another fine example of the importance of a specialist renovation insurance broker who can work to support unique requirements in large scale renovation projects.

We are often asked to protect contents left on site during a renovation project – find out more here:

Stating our approach to a stately home renovation

It was recently announced by the National Trust that parts of Clandon Park House, the stately home that was reduced to a shell by a fire last April, are to be restored to their “original glory”. Read on for our outline of the key considerations for this type of large scale renovation project.

It is said that up to 95% of the Grade I-listed house, which featured in the 2008 film The Duchess starring Keira Knightley, was damaged in last year’s fire…so there’s a big renovation project ahead. As the market leader in placing renovation insurance, we know exactly what’s involved in renovating a property of this stature and historic sensitivity. Whilst we aren’t involved in the renovation of Clandon Park House specifically, we’ve used the property as the basis for this blog – highlighting the key points to note from a renovation insurance perspective for such a large scale stately home renovation.


In all renovation works, the experience and competence of the contractor will be key. In the particular example of Clandon Park House, it becomes even more important. The restoration will be complex, will take a long time and the structure itself will be difficult to secure both structurally and from a security standpoint.

A suite of top notch liability insurances held by the contractor and the property owner will also be essential. The structure is likely to be unstable and relatively easy to access, and it’s likely there’ll be a lot of people on site at any one time. The potential for injury is quite high.

The plan is to restore the most important ground floor rooms at Clandon Park House to the majestic standard from the 18th Century, while the upper floors will be used for future exhibitions and events. In such a big project, and one that’s aiming to meet very exacting standards, it’s important that planning and conservation officers form part of the professional team. If they’re fully involved and welcomed this will maximise the likelihood of a smooth restoration all round.

Of course, using a construction specialist broker and insurer is essential – they will completely understand and appreciate the cover requirement and ensure the project gets the right cover. Large scale renovations like this are very individual. That’s why here at Renovation Insurance Brokers we take a bespoke approach to providing such specialist cover – exploring and understanding the individualities of every project and tailoring the insurance coverage to ensure the best possible cover.


Those involved in the restoration of Clandon Park House also need to be realistic about timescales. Structures of this type take a great deal of time to restore due to historic sensitivity. Being realistic about budget is important too. Restoration costs will be massively higher than a non-historic or non-sensitive structure of equal square footage.

In situations like this, a property owner has got to be prepared to spend a significant sum of money on the insurance package as part of the project budget too. Comprehensive cover for such an in depth project is important – and quality and credibly is key. It’s worth bearing in mind that where the damage being rectified is as the result of an insured event, the cost of specialist renovation insurance can form part of the claim under the previous property insurance coverage.

In any renovation project, you can never have too much information (the more the better) and open and transparent communication is hugely important throughout the process. There are likely to be changes to costings, interruptions in the progression of works and possible incidents on site. All these examples and many more like them have the potential to make the claim process fraught if insurers are not informed, so communication really is key.

We wish the very best of luck to all those involved in the Clandon Park House restoration. Our specialism is placing high value renovation insurance for a variety of properties – from Chelsea townhouses to country piles. We deal with unique renovation insurance requests here at Renovation Insurance Brokers every day. We’d be delighted to help you with yours.

Images courtesy of National Trust.


A look back at 2015

As we reach the end of 2015, we reflect on just some of the many things that have made our year here at Renovation Insurance Brokers.

We have spared you a RIB family photo with the office dog and hibernating tortoise but just wanted to share a few of the highs that made 2015 a great year for us, as we hope it was for you too.

A big thank you

None of what we do, we’d be able to do without you – so give yourself a hearty round of applause for being so supportive, at times understanding, but always committed to doing the right thing for your clients. Your faith in us and ability to advise your clients accurately sets you apart. Together we are a winning partnership.

As always, it’s been a very busy 12 months. We are very proud of our achievements and are pleased to share just some of our highlights here.

– Broker portal. Our unique broker portal has been very well received in the broker market since its launch last year and we have been pleased to see it continue to grow in popularity this year, as a key part of the quotation process. The quick quote system allows our brokers to get an immediate premium indication for some very basic information – obtaining renovation insurance quotes for their clients more quickly than ever before.

Interested in using the quick quote system for yourself? Take a look at this article for more information on how our Broker Portal works and to request login details. Don’t forget, we also offer bespoke CPD training too.

– Product development. We launched a brand new fixed price product for the broker market this autumn – specifically developed to offer a more marketable solution to insuring renovations in the mid net worth (MNW) sector. For brokers operating in the mid net worth sector this new online only policy provides the same market leading cover, at a very low price and is expected to prove very attractive.

We can now also offer ‘all risks’ unoccupied building insurance for properties which will be undergoing works, but at some point in the future. These properties do not fit onto the Renovation product immediately because the time period between the need for the Buildings cover and the start of the project is too great (max 2 months). The introduction of our new ‘all risks’ cover has been developed to offer a solution to projects that sit in this growing area. Just another example of our understanding of the market and our drive to develop products and services that offer you the very best options.

– New team members. Our team continues to grow so that we can provide the service levels you need. Just like last year, this year we were pleased to welcome two new members to the Renovation Insurance Brokers team.

Chris Harris arrived with us in October, as an additional underwriter to support our growth; with responsibility for underwriting all products as well as further developing business relations with the wholesale market.

Naweed Darr joined us as a marketing intern this summer and is now our full time Marketing Executive, helping us to maintain our strong brand and to communicate with you in a way that makes sense.

– Increased communications. Keeping in touch with our stakeholders is hugely important to us. This year we’ve introduced two new LinkedIn groups – one for HNW Brokers and another for Architect’s working with high value renovations – to educate, to inform and to facilitate online networking within each of our key markets. This very website has been enhanced too – to offer a clear proposition to the three key groups we work with – Architects, Brokers and Renovators.

– Charitable work. We’re proud to have continued to show our support for Grief Encounter, Rise Africa UK and The Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWXT). Each of these three charities makes real impact in each of their individual areas and we are pleased to be able to work with them on a regular basis and raise awareness of the good things they do. To find out more about the different charities that we support, please take a look at our Good Causes page.

– Utilising our renovation expertise. Once again, this year has seen us place insurance for an array of high value, unique renovations. We always see a real mix of projects across a large geographical area – but one thing is consistent within them all; all being in need of an expert approach to their challenging insurance requirements.

In just a very small illustration as to what we’ve been involved with this year – we’ve provided cover for projects in the South of France as well as a growing number of central London properties, particularly basement projects which require large scale excavations.

We were also delighted to be chosen as the insurer of a stunning stately home on a remote Scottish Island this year, one with a project budget of over £20,000,000. Our very latest activity, finishing the year on a real high, is our work to insure the renovations of a £50,000,000 dwelling in London.

In summary: 2015

When looking back on the year, it’s always hugely rewarding to see where our successes lie, but more importantly, what impact we have had for the clients we serve. We are very proud of the strong and long established relationships we hold and the value we add to each and every project we have the pleasure of being involved in. Thank you to all of you who have helped to make 2015 such a fantastic year here at Renovation Insurance Brokers – we look forward to the activity ahead in 2016.

From all of us here at Renovation Insurance Brokers, sending you our very best festive greetings and wishing you a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.

Proud to be a high net worth broker involved in the Insurance Age HNW Forum event


As the broker market leader in renovation insurance, our central focus is on placing the very best insurance for large scale renovations across the country. We work with a substantial network of high net worth brokers to provide the widest cover for each and every renovation project.

We are delighted to be attending the Insurance Age High Net Worth Forum in London today to understand more about future trends, share best practice and network with others in our sector.

One of our personal highlights for today’s event is the keynote speech from Robert Hiscox, founder of Hiscox, who will be discussing the history of the insurer and outlining his views of the HNW market.  His keynote will focus specifically on how a high net worth broker can really stand out…something that we try to do each and every day.  Here’s how.

Our approach is bespoke. When we are working with a broker partner or their client’s project professionals, we provide a completely tailored service. We work quickly to decide on the most appropriate cover for their large scale renovations.  We listen more than we talk, to find out as much information as we can about the project from the start. We are advisors first and foremost– providing consistent and relevant solutions for insuring a renovation project and help define exactly what risks are involved.

We don’t just focus on customer service – but excellence. For us, it’s all about customer experience.  As Robert Hiscox stated in his pre event article, what people want now, more than anything, is to ring up and get someone who talks to them and knows their situation. We completely agree.  Technology may have driven more and more online, but sometimes you can’t beat talking to someone.  And not just anyone, but an expert who fully understands your requirements – even if you don’t.  That’s us.

Brokers are important to us.  Our broker partners are incredibly busy. They want to chat about complex cases but need fast solutions for simple projects.  We have invested in a number of online offerings specifically for our brokers. They know they can always pick up the phone to speak to us but can also head online to obtain a very quick indication of premium when they are speaking to their client.

We want to share our renovation insurance knowledge.  For property renovating clients, the development of a large scale renovation may be a once in a lifetime experience. However, for a broker it may be something they see regularly – but always with different requirements.  Our renovation, liability and party wall CPD training gives a deeper understanding of this very specific insurance; it outlines potential challenges and helps brokers be confident about what they are recommending. To encourage dialogue, we’ve set up a dedicated LinkedIn group for high net worth brokers to provide ongoing support and wider networking for those working in these sectors found here.

We are proud to assist the high net worth broker market and look forward to seeing everyone at this unique sector event.  We’ll be sharing online insights and input throughout the day, which you can follow live through Twitter here.

Read the full pre event article with Robert Hiscox at Insurance Age online.

Extending our product range for the broker only Mid Net Worth sector


We are proud to announce the launch of a brand new fixed price product for the broker market. The new product has been specifically developed to offer a more marketable solution to insuring renovations in the mid net worth (MNW) sector.

Called Single Premium MNW, this online only offering is available to brokers from Renovation Insurance’s unique online portal. For brokers operating in the mid net worth sector this new policy provides the same market leading cover, at a very low price and is expected to prove very attractive.

The Single Premium MNW policy covers existing structures up to £450,000 and works up to £250,000, property owner’s liability to £2,000,000 and non-negligent liability (Party Wall cover) to £250,000. The cover is for a maximum of 12 months and all this at a single premium of £950 including IPT.

Renovation Insurance’s unique broker portal has been very well received in the broker market since its launch in June 2015 and Single Premium MNW extends that online offering and brings quote turnaround times down further. The portal enables broker partners to obtain an immediate premium indication for some very basic information. This gives brokers an edge over their competition who may have to wait days for a quote. The client is engaged early and broker partners appear more efficient and responsive.

Douglas Brown, Managing Partner of Renovation Insurance Brokers said: “Over the last five years we have seen the renovation insurance market grow significantly. We worked very closely with our broker partners to come up with the market leading renovation policy for the HNW sector, but have known for some time that we serviced the MNW sector less well.”

He continues: “As innovators in this market, we have worked hard to develop this unique product to provide an exciting new insurance offer that is easy for brokers to recommend both in terms of cover and price. It still won’t be the rock bottom priced product out there but for the genuine MNW customer there is no better value to be had in the market.”

Brokers who are interested in using the Renovation Insurance broker portal need to have a Terms of Business Agreement with Renovation Insurance Brokers and the relevant login details. Underwriting criteria for the Single Premium MNW policy requires the building to be of a standard construction, not listed, to not involve basement works and have a clean claims history. Other terms and conditions apply.

If you are a broker that operates in the mid net worth renovation market, we’d love to tell you more.  To obtain further product details or to arrange a demo, just call 08442 641200 or email us here.


Our commitment to strong network connections


As the market leaders in renovation insurance, we work with insurance and project professionals all the time. Whilst renovation insurance is our focus, we know that for many of those we work with, it is not their area of expertise – and that’s where we can help, thanks to our new online groups.

Keeping our stakeholders up to date with the latest news and best practice in renovation insurance really is key to us – and we’ve recently launched two tailored LinkedIn groups that do just that.

High Net Worth brokers, architects or project professionals that are involved in luxury property renovations can join us to benefit from:

  • The latest news, developments and trends within the luxury property renovations sector.
  • A go-to place for advice, ideas and discussions from experts within the sector.
  • An opportunity to network with other relevant professionals.

Many of the key stakeholders we work with are already online, and the development of these groups enables us to connect in a new way.  If this is you, please do join us and get involved.

High Net Worth brokers join here

Architects and other professionals join here

Avoiding under insurance when planning a renovation project


When planning a high net worth (HNW) renovation project the value of the insurance cover is extremely important to protect the building, belongings, fixtures and any period features. Under insurance is a common problem with high net worth clients, due to the unique nature of their projects. We delve into the problem and what an experienced broker can do to avoid it. Continue reading…

Renovation insurance policy extensions: when a project is delayed

policy extensions

In an ideal world a renovation project would be completed to deadline, and within budget. Are you chuckling to yourself at the mere thought of this?

We understand that the majority of renovation projects overrun, no matter how organised everyone is, it is just the nature of the beast. This is why we are flexible with our approach, and can offer policy extensions tailored to each renovation project. Continue reading…