We all know that 2020 has been, to put it mildly, a strange year.

A recent article highlighted more households in the UK than ever before are multi-generational. Interestingly, lockdown is reported as playing a relatively minor role, with more children remaining in the family home and being joined by their grandparents, with extensions and annexes becoming increasingly popular.

We wondered what, if any, impact this might have for people in terms of their insurance and our team pooled their considerable expertise to produce some points worth considering if your household is extending.

  • Check your accidental damage cover. If more people are living at the property, there could be a greater chance of accidents happening and not every policy will provide cover automatically.
  • Who owns what? This is particularly relevant for older relatives with their own possessions where the policy will need to extend to provide cover; the interest of anyone other than you as the policyholder should be noted to ensure claims can be paid correctly and to the right person.
  • If you're altering your property, then make sure that your buildings sum insured remains sufficient, especially where more extensive works are being carried out.
  • On the subject of extending, check your policy as you may need to notify your Insurers of building works before they commence (and this can be at a relatively low value).
  • Where you're employing contractors to carry out works, then their insurance should always be checked to ensure they are covering the work they carry out, and have sufficient liability insurance for damage they may cause to your home. 
  • Larger/complex projects should be contracted under a JCT (Joint Contracts Tribunal) basis and insured on a joint names basis to protect the existing structure of your home, as well as the project works planned.

You'd be forgiven for thinking that an increased household would only relate to your home insurance but you might also want to consider the cover for your vehicles.

  • Do your children or older relatives only drive their own cars? A good motor policy should include cover for non-resident family members to drive your car or cars but those who live with you may need to be named on your policy.
  • Ownership – if you intend to insure vehicles owned by relatives, check that this is feasible and that the relevant interest is noted.

At Lockton, we work proactively. We constantly monitor how the world is changing and how this might affect our clients. Whether it's the kind of global change we've all seen in recent months, or smaller things such as your children moving back home or your older relatives moving in, we're here to guide and advise you.