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.