When considering home renovations, insurance may be the last thing on your mind. However, it’s important think about updating your homeowners insurance policy so that you will remain protected for the new value of the house, not the old one. A renovation project will likely add value to your home, may lower your rates and you could possibly receive an insurance discount. But if you don’t do a policy update, the improvements might not be covered if you file a claim. Here are some guidelines to follow:
It’s a good idea to be proactive and discuss any significant upgrades to your home with your insurance agent. Some might not require a change to your home’s insurance coverage, but it’s better to be on the safe side. Whether it’s kitchen renovations, adding a sunroom, or building a front porch, contact your insurance agent before you renovate to stay ahead of the game and plan accordingly.
Also, take “before” and “after” photos. If you need to put furniture and other items in storage, make sure those items are still covered by your policy if stored outside your home. And check with your agent about your liability coverage in the event that someone gets injured. If you hire a contractor, make sure they carry their own insurance by asking to see their certificate.
Determine Your Home’s Value
Work with your agent to determine what the new insurable value of your home should be. They can help you determine how much additional property coverage you will need based on the extent of your remodeling. Increase the coverage on your home before the work begins. If you don’t, and the new addition or improvement is damaged or destroyed before it is completed, you may have to pay for the loss out of your own pocket. Remember, insurance is about protecting your assets, and your insurance representative is there to assist you.
Honesty is the Best Policy
Home improvements may or may not increase your homeowner’s insurance coverage. Regardless, it’s in your best interest to be upfront with your insurance agent. If you have a deck built and someone falls off it, you will likely be denied your claim if you failed to tell your agent about the addition. You also run the risk of being dropped by your insurance company. Besides being honest, experts recommend that you review your homeowners insurance annually to make sure you’re adequately covered in the future.
Before the Work Begins
Find out if your project should be handled by a professional, and what permits are required. If your renovation is more extensive – adding walls, rerouting electric work, adding foundation – it is important that the work is inspected during the course of the project. These inspections will verify that the construction is safe and up to code. If inspections are skipped, your insurance may not cover damage on these remodeled structures. At Xtreme Home Improvement, we can help make any job seem less daunting by working with you through the whole project requirement process.
There’s No Substitute for Expertise and Experience
The professionals at Xtreme Home Improvement can anticipate all the commonly occurring pitfalls, because we’ve seen them all before. We can even expect a few more unexpected problems but we’ll be prepared to deal with them if they do arise. When you’re ready, choose a contractor with the right expertise. We have over 30 years of industry experience and we’ll complete your project on budget, on time, to spec, and to a promised quality level. Please contact us to find out more.
Regardless of the home improvement project you choose to pursue, be sure to consider renovating your homeowners insurance as well. Your home is one of the biggest investments you’ll make in your life, so it’s no wonder having great homeowners insurance backing up every dollar spent, is worth the peace of mind you gain.