What you Should Know before Renovating

Whether you are starting a major project or updating the look of your home, renovations may affect your home insurance. Following these steps before renovations start will help ensure that your biggest investment is always properly protected.

Research potential contractors

Check their qualifications, references and request proof that they have insurance. In addition to having liability coverage for their business, they should also have worker’s compensation coverage in case their employees are injured on your property. Make sure that the insurance certificate they provide is valid for the entire length of your project.

Make sure you have a permit

As the homeowner it is your responsibility to make sure that all the required permits are in place before the renovation begins.

Notify your broker before you begin renovations

The type of renovation, the expected length of the renovation and who is doing the work can have an impact on whether or not your policy will still respond if there is a claim. Contacting your broker before the renovations start will ensure that your policy remains in place during the renovation and will provide you with adequate coverage.

Moving out during construction can invalidate your policy

Unoccupied homes are more likely to be exposed to risks such as theft, vandalism and water damage. As such, most homeowner’s policies will not provide coverage if your home has been vacant for longer than 30 days. If your home is going to be vacant you need to notify your broker and place a vacancy permit on your policy. The vacancy permit will allow you to maintain most coverages while you are away from your home.

After Renovations are Complete

Contact your broker to have the amount your home is insured for re-evaluated. Things like square footage, types of materials used and the quality of those materials are taken into consideration when coming up with an estimate on how much it will cost to rebuild your home as is, where is. The estimated rebuild value has an impact on how much your policy will pay out in a claim and will have an impact on your premium. You also have a contractual obligation to report any changes you made to your home to your insurance company. Failure to do this may affect what coverage you have and what is paid out in the event of a loss.