Home and Contents Policies – Requirement for Council Approvals

With so many do it yourself renovation television shows and a plethora of advertisements from the hardware chains, it is not surprising that many Insureds do their own renovations, from building a simple deck to much more complex building projects.

What is not well known is that more and more home building policies contain an exclusion, either a blanket exclusion or one just excluding the structural improvement, for any loss or damage or legal liability claim arising from a structural improvement where the appropriate council permit has not been obtained. An example of the softer of the exclusions out in the market is reproduced below:

In more than one claim LMI has been involved in in the last month, the insurer has attempted to rely on the exclusion without first testing if a permit was obtained. It is a case of rejection first and then the Insured having to prove that a permit was obtained.

Two things are important to keep in mind here. First, all relevant permits need to be obtained when doing work around the house or business building. Not to obtain permits could prejudice an otherwise valid insurance claim and may in addition render the building very difficult to sell.

Secondly, keep the documentation handy to prove that the permits were obtained, to reduce the time in takes to have a valid claim accepted.

 

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