Five minutes with Matthew Dover, renovation insurance specialist

Matthew Dover RIB

Renovation insurance specialist, Matthew Dover, gives us the lowdown on what it takes to be a good insurer. Plus, find out what Matthew believes the key to a successful renovation project is.

We work with high end domestic and commercial renovators and with their professional teams.

I got into this in the beginning because we’d identified a significant gap in the market. It has traditionally been very difficult for top end renovators to achieve the sort of wide cover which gives them peace of mind during renovation and refurbishment projects.

The standard property insurance marketplace is reluctant to take on a renovation project because they perceive high levels of risk. We designed a product which would give our clients very wide cover for their buildings and their projects.

The project we’re most proud to be involved in was the renovation of a derelict Grade II* listed clothier’s house in Yorkshire. This historically sensitive restoration generated pretty much every problem imaginable for the developer, including a storm damage claim totalling nearly £300,000.

We were able to settle the claim very efficiently and meet every one of our client’s needs over the 4 year period it took to complete the redevelopment. Our client is now living in the completed structure and has, on numerous occasions, expressed high levels of satisfaction with our product and service.

We now insure some exceptionally large projects (project budgets well in excess of £10,000,000). It’s always rewarding to achieve a solution for clients of this nature because there is so much at stake for them. We also have some famous names and faces on our books.

What people forget when insuring their project is that they’re not arranging standard ‘occupied home’ insurance. During a renovation project the property is subject to significantly higher risk and, in addition, it is not just the structure which needs insurance, it is also the works in progress. Consequently, renovators are frequently shocked at the sorts of premium they need to pay for peace of mind.

What’s important when it comes to a successful renovation project is having a strong professional team, the right advice, realistic expectations in terms of cost, duration, a decent understanding of the regulatory environment and, of course, the right cover.

We’re fascinated by historic architecture, visionary projects and developments in construction technology.

The way we work is bespoke. We do not offer a one size fits all solution. Our product is very much tailored to individual’s needs.

We like working in this business because we genuinely believe that we offer the market leading solution for top-end renovators. It’s very easy to sell our product which is good for us and we’re confident that our clients are getting real value for money, which is good for them.

People often say we are knowledgeable. The main emotion I get from our clients is relief. There are a lot of people out there trying to cobble together cover for top end renovators and, as they don’t have the required expertise, products or markets, they do not inspire confidence. This is a difficult area.

When people talk to us, and realise we are able to offer exactly what they need, the relief is palpable.

Join Matthew on LinkedIn and meet other specialists in our Renovation Professionals group. You can also stay up-to-date with the latest company and industry news by following Renovation Insurance Brokers on LinkedIn.

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