Five minutes with Chris Harris, Renovation Insurance Underwriter

Renovation Insurance underwriter, Chris Harris, gives us the lowdown on what it takes to be a good insurer. Plus, find out what Chris believes the key to a successful renovation project is.

I got into this in the beginning because I graduated from university and was not sure where I wanted to take my Geography degree at the time. An opportunity came my way within the insurance industry and looking back now, accepting the opportunity was one of the best decisions I have made.

The role of an insurance broker/underwriter is to protect clients by ensuring that every avenue is clarified and covered, or highlighting what is not included. Failure to understand the nature of the property and/or the renovation works could lead to grey areas or gaps in a policy. One of my greatest concerns with insurance would be leaving someone inadequately covered in the event of a claim – which is why I take care over each individual policy.

What people forget when insuring their project is that claims CAN and DO happen. What’s the point in paying for insurance if you don’t aim to cover every angle?

Also, whilst the attention is all about the new works, materials and fittings, they still need to think about what they already have. Many ‘normal’ home insurance policies will be invalidated (or greatly restricted) during a renovation project which is why the ideal solution is a policy that covers both.

What’s important when it comes to a successful renovation project is insurance, of course. Plus, from my experience it is important to anticipate a bigger budget and a longer period of works than you might necessarily plan for. It’s easy to dream of ‘moving in by Christmas’ but realistically you should anticipate unexpected delays.

I’m fascinated by the variety and scale of renovation projects that people take on. Whenever I walk or drive past an empty barn or a dilapidated building, I often wonder when somebody will take on such a big project and hope that one day I will be involved in insuring it.

We like working in this business because I get the satisfaction of knowing that I have helped clients place the correct insurance they need. Whilst some may feel that insurance is just an unwanted expenditure, I know that they are right to have us cover the project, as that unwanted expenditure will soon feel like a bargain should a claim arise.

Join Chris on LinkedIn and meet other specialists in our HNW Brokers: Property Renovations group. You can also stay up-to-date with the latest company and sector news by following Renovation Insurance Brokers on Twitter.

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