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Brits Shown To Be Paying For Neighbours DIY Disasters

Apr 18, 2008
Home improvement disasters are affecting more than just a DIYer's own property, a new study shows.

In research carried out by Halifax Home Insurance, it was revealed that more than 590,000 homes were damaged over the course of last year following on from a neighbour's mishap while in the midst of renovation work. Such accidents were revealed to include broken ornaments, water damage in a neighbour's home as a result of a penetrated pipe and a demolished wall. Findings from the financial services firm also showed that the average cost of repairs due to next door's attempts at home renovations has stood at 291 pounds over the last five years. Overall, such accidents caused over 173 million pounds' worth of breakages during 2007.

Furthermore, Halifax pointed out that in 32 per cent of home improvement disasters incurred on someone else's property, it has been the neighbour which has either met the cost of repairs or made a claim on their home insurance policy. Meanwhile, just over a quarter (27 per cent) of DIY mishaps have seen the cost of repairs shared among both parties. The study also revealed that a tenth of those Britons who have accidentally damaged their neighbours' home have blamed such accidents on professional workmen.

Those who lack an adequate home insurance policy may find that they are forced to dip into their own pockets to meet the cost of repairs to their neighbour's property. In turn, this may impact upon their ability to meet other areas of financial demand such as loans, credit and store card repayments and household bills.

Commenting on the figures, David Rochester, head of underwriting for Halifax Home Insurance, said: "A number of errant DIYers are not just damaging their properties but their neighbours' homes too. But even more interesting is that so many victims handle the situation with typically British aplomb. Indeed, over two-thirds of them chose to pay towards the cost of repairing their home - rather than create a fuss. Perhaps they weren't aware that they could have claimed for repairing the damage on their neighbour's insurance policy."

And although the cost of the typical DIY disaster stands at 291 pounds, financial pressures incurred by a neighbour's mishap may be particularly increased for those living in Scotland. In this part of Britain, it was revealed that the average incident takes 817 pounds to repair. Meanwhile, typical costs in Wales and the south-west of England come to 359 pounds. Halifax also showed that neighbour mishaps account for more than a quarter (27 per cent) of home improvements incidents in the north of England, with this proportion rising to 29 per cent in the south-east.

For those looking for an effective way to finance renovations to a property, getting a home loan could be advisable. By doing so, borrowers may be able to afford both the cost of materials and the hiring of professional tradespeople to carry out such work quickly and effectively. The additional financial assistance that a loan brings could also help homeowners to purchase an adequate insurance policy that provides cover for accidental damage. Meanwhile, a recent Abbey Insurance study revealed that the majority of British homes have seen at least one household item damaged by children over the last ten years. Those between the ages of 11 and 15 were shown to be most likely to have an accident, with the average mishap costing 140 pounds and 61 pence to repair or replace an item.
About the Author
Mark Dawson writes for Loan-Arrangers .co.uk where visitors can compare loans online. Then apply for the best secured loans and bad credit loans available.
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