Did you know a three bedroom house with an office can be considered a four bedroom house? This not only affects your property value but also your home insurance.
The pandemic lockdown saw nearly half of UK employees working remotely from home1 in an office, probably converted from a spare bedroom, dining room or outside building.
Now, post pandemic, the number of employees in the UK who work on a hybrid basis has risen from 13% in February 2022 to 24% in May of the same year2.
The necessity of working from home saw people becoming inventive and creative. Suddenly the understairs cubby hole took on new meaning. Overnight, desks, office chairs, desk lighting and desk organisers were installed.
The old outhouse became a hub of activity, turned into a New Age/Space Age room – housing computers, a desk, books, office furniture, plants and perhaps a candle or two. And of course, the spare bedroom, previously home to old shoes, empty boxes, discarded clothes and general junk, was transformed into a light, bright workspace.
Suddenly, the cold concrete office block you used to work in was replaced by carpets, on-tap ‘real’ coffee and heating that works! Plus, you could have the dog on the mat and the cat on your lap!
But whilst you congratulated yourself for being inventive and remaining productive at work (with the help of online video calls, emails and messaging platforms), did you stop to consider the implications around your insurance when you changed the spare bedroom into an office?
For example, your four-bedroom house is now (in your view) a three-bedroom house, as only three bedrooms out of the four have beds – right? – wrong. Many insurers will still consider you as living in a four-bedroom property.
Insurers base their calculations on the number of rooms in your house which were originally built and intended to be bedrooms, even if you haven’t used one or more of the rooms as a bedroom for years. Usually, the more bedrooms you have, the higher your premium and sums insured will be, but trying to cut corners can backfire. When you talk to your insurer about a quote, do make sure you state the correct number of bedrooms your property has, as failing to do so could lead to your policy becoming invalidated, and any claims made – potentially rejected.
If you have converted your attic into an office space, let your insurers know – for your peace of mind around being properly protected. Insurers need to have the correct information to make sure a claim isn’t rejected because of incorrect information around the type of home you have.
Converting an old shed, conservatory, garage, or outbuilding can add around 5% to the resale value of your property3. Add to this the fact that you have an extra space from which to work, play, create, or practice yoga, and the cost and time of updating or renovating the outside building is often a small price to pay. This however may fall under “structural changes” in terms of your insurance policy, so again, it’s worth letting your insurers know of any conversions, renovations or updates.
If you use your outside room as a commercial premises, for example, a hairdresser, beauty therapy, a counselling practice or yoga studio, you might need commercial building insurance to protect both you and your clients.
If you’re not sure where you stand with your home insurance, talk to us.
To enquire about your existing home insurance or request a quote, please contact our team of experts. We’re on-hand to help you get the best out of your cover.
Call: 01823 250702 (Thatched property insurance)
01787 880338 (Listed property insurance)
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