Planning to tackle a few home renovations this year? Don’t take the risk of breaking ground without reviewing your insurance policy. Forgetting to look over your policy prior to starting a reno work, regardless of how minor, is a misstep that could lead to serious financial repercussions which your existing home insurance may not cover.
Here’s what you need to know before starting any home renovations or repairs.
Contact Your Insurance Broker First
Before you begin any renovations or repairs, always contact your insurance broker first. This is a crucial step to ensure all of your bases are covered. They will review your current insurance policy to see what limits are in place. If it’s insufficient and won’t provide the necessary coverage if someone gets injured whilst renovating, they will recommend additional options for specific renovations. This is crucial because if an incident does happen and the insurer was not initially notified about the renovation, your claim could be rejected, leaving you with a financial burden. Also, your broker can inform you about projects that will increase the value of your property, and thus, your monthly fees so you can be aware before you decide to move forward.
Some Projects Can Increase Costs, While Some Can Lower Them
Many homeowners assume that if they do notify their insurer about renovations, their costs will automatically increase. However, this isn’t always the case. Depending on the type of renovation or repairs, your costs could actually decrease. This can happen if you’re updating or adding a feature that will improve the safety of your home, for instance.
Here are the types of renovations that can potentially lower your costs:
- Roof replacement
- Installing a new furnace
- Updating plumbing and electrical
- Installing a security system
Meanwhile, here are the primary renovations that can potentially increase your costs:
- Converting space for a home-based business
- Installing a pool
- Installing a fireplace
- Upgrading kitchen or bathroom
Protection Against Unforeseen Events and Uninsured Contractors
Unforeseen events are a potential risk when it comes to renovations. For example, during certain major renovation projects, it might be necessary to stay somewhere else while the project is being completed. During this time, your property could be more vulnerable to burglary. In this case, unoccupied dwelling insurance should be added. Even if you’re planning to perform DIY renos, make sure to speak with your broker first so you can ensure you have the right coverage to protect you and your investment.
If you are working with a contractor, always ensure they are properly insured. This should include workers’ compensation and liability. Any contractor that takes issue with this standard requirement should be shown the door, and we don’t mean to work on it! Stick to trained, certified, and properly insured professionals at all times whenever outsourcing work.
Avoid unnecessary risk by contacting our team of brokers at Rowat Insurance before you start any renovations or repairs. We’re happy to review your current policy and inform you about any additional coverage that you’ll need as a precaution. The peace of mind is well worth it!