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  • Time for a Home Renovation? Check Your Homeowner’s Insurance!

    It’s finally spring, and you know what that means…home renovation projects! If you’re one of the many people already making your to-do list, be sure to ask yourself this question first — Will my home insurance cover this project should something go wrong?

    Tips for Homeowners

    When it comes to home renovation, the range of projects people work on really run the gamut from painting a bedroom to adding an addition or totally gutting a home.

    So, what do you need to know to make sure your home is appropriately covered by insurance prior to starting? Here are some tips.

    Check with Your Contractor

    If you are using a contractor, confirm that they carry insurance. Also, confirm that they carry enough insurance. The contractor should be able to show you a certificate of insurance that shows their current insurance limits. They should carry property, liability, and workers’ compensation insurance.

    Evaluate the Risks

    Minimize your risk by keeping a sufficient number of fire extinguishers on each level of the home during renovations and continuing to monitor your alarm system during the construction. You can discuss with the alarm company if you should modify the detectors based on the project.

    Contact Your Insurance Agent

    In order to properly insure your home after a major renovation or addition, you should reach out to your homeowners insurance agent. You will want to confirm that your policy limits adequately cover the replacement cost of your home.

    For example: If you go from laminate countertops and builder’s grade cabinets to custom cabinets and granite countertops, then your current insurance limit will be insufficient.

    Depending on the project, your insurance carrier may require you to add a “course of construction” endorsement or a builder’s risk policy. This will cost additional premium to rate accordingly for the increased risk during construction.

    The type of project can also change the risk that your homeowner’s insurance is covering.

    For example: If you add a pool, the insurance company will want to know. On the flip side, if you renovate the roof, electrical, or plumbing, then it can lower your insurance rates.

    Major Renovation Project Considerations

    If you are completing a major renovation where you will not be living in the home, then I’ve noted some loss prevention steps you’ll want to follow below:

    • Install a temporary fire and burglar alarm system
    • Install temporary night-lighting
    • Add a driveway chain or perimeter fencing to prevent unwanted visitors
    • Install video surveillance cameras
    • Place fire extinguishers in the home (at least 1 per 1,000 sq. ft.)
    • Obtain a certificate of insurance from the general contractor with themselves listed as an additional insured

    If you have questions on an upcoming renovation or new build, don’t hesitate to reach out to us discuss. It’s always better to talk before a project has started vs. when it’s too late

    Published on: 03.29.21

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Time for a Home Renovation? Check Your Homeowner’s Insurance!