Bad DIY a ‘Saw Point’ For Brits as Over Half Admit to Botching Jobs

Bungled workmanship leads to 90% paying the cost rather than claiming on insurance

Britain’s have-a-go handymen are set for a disastrous May Bank Holiday as Nationwide Building Society research1 shows that more than half (56%) have history when it comes to botched DIY jobs.

But just one in ten ham-fisted handymen (10%) have recovered the costs of their mistakes by claiming on their insurance, with “many people completely unaware they can claim for accidental damage caused in this way”, according to Nationwide’s Head of General Insurance, Martyn Dyson.

DIY still remains a national hobby with research showing that 80 per cent of people carry out home improvements themselves rather than asking a professional for help.

While most DIY enthusiasts limit themselves to more manageable tasks, such as putting up wallpaper and painting (70%), bleeding a radiator (65%) and improving the garden (62%); there are a number of more ambitious home improvers who turn their hand to bigger tasks such as knocking down walls (24%), laying loft insulation (21%), fitting a new kitchen (12%) or fitting a new bathroom (12%).

Irrespective of the job undertaken, most people at some point have experienced a DIY disaster, with Nationwide’s research revealing the top disasters. These include:

  • Spillages, including paint, glue or white spirit – 35%
  • Marking the walls – 22%
  • Damage to furniture, breaking a window and damage to flooring – all 10%

Interestingly, nine in ten (90%) of those who admitted to home improvement horrors ended up paying the cost of their mistakes themselves rather than claiming on their home insurance. And with nearly a fifth (19%) of people with DIY horror stories causing over £200 of damage, not knowing what your home insurance covers you for can prove quite costly.

Martyn Dyson, Nationwide’s Head of General Insurance, said: “The Bank Holiday is primetime for getting stuck into jobs around the home you’ve been putting off. Unfortunately, you can end up causing more damage than good, especially if you’re inexperienced. Nationwide’s advice to anyone looking to do home improvements this weekend is to not rush into it, stop and think about the job in hand, be realistic about your capabilities and make sure you are covered if things do go wrong, as not all policies include accidental damage like Nationwide’s Home Insurance. As the survey shows, many people may be completely unaware they can claim for accidental damage in this way.”

Nationwide offers two different insurance options. The Home Insurance policy includes accidental damage, along with accidental pet damage and personal possessions cover both in and out of the home. The Home Insurance Essentials policy offers accidental damage and personal possessions cover as optional extras. Customers can also benefit from up to 35% no claim discount on contents, and up to 10% no claim discount on buildings insurance if they have been claim-free for up to five years.

Notes to editors

1 Red Dot research - total sample size was 1,000 adults. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+). The survey ran from the 15/04/2015 to 20/04/2015.

Nationwide Home Insurance offers two different household insurance policies, Home Insurance, and Home Insurance Essentials.

Home Insurance includes:

  • Unlimited buildings cover for eligible properties
  • £100,000 contents sum insured (can be increased)
  • Buildings and contents Accidental Damage, including damage caused by pets as standard
  • Matching sets and suites cover
  • Cover for Personal Possessions outside the home (e.g. mobile phones, laptops, clothing, bags, bicycles)
  • Terms, conditions, exclusions and limitations apply.

Home Insurance Essentials includes:

  • £1m buildings cover
  • £50,000 contents sum insured (can be increased)
  • Optional Accidental Damage and Personal Possessions cover (can be added for an additional premium).
  • Theft and loss of keys (up to £500)
  • Cost of fixing the damage caused to trace and access a leak (up to £5,000)
  • Terms, conditions, exclusions and limitations apply.

More information on Home Insurance and Home Insurance Essentials, can be found on our website.

Each policy has different limits for unspecified personal possessions, pedal cycles and individual item limits (for valuables or personal effects, whether covered inside the home only or inside and outside the home).

Home Emergency cover and Legal Assistance cover are available as optional extras on both Home Insurance and Home Insurance Essentials.

Nationwide’s Home Insurance and Home Insurance Essentials are underwritten by U K Insurance Limited (UKI). Home Emergency cover and Legal Assistance cover are underwritten by DAS Legal Expenses Insurance Company Ltd.

About Nationwide

Nationwide is the world's largest building society as well as one of the largest savings providers and a top-three provider of mortgages in the UK. It is also a major provider of current accounts, credit cards, ISAs and personal loans. Nationwide has around 15 million customers.

Customers can manage their finances in a branch, via the mobile app, on the telephone, internet and post. The Society has around 18,000 employees. Nationwide's head office is in Swindon with administration centres based in Northampton, Bournemouth and Dunfermline. The Society also has a number of call centres across the UK.

Please note: If you are a customer looking for information on our products and services, please visit the main website.