Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Check it Before you Wreck it: Insurance for Home Renovations

Summer is the most popular time for homeowners to renovate and revamp their houses or condos. There is no better feeling than coming home to a space that looks and feels the way you want it to. Whether you’re designing your new dream kitchen, or finishing your basement, or even minor renovations such as redoing your flooring, it’s important to contact your insurance broker before you begin the process.

Renovations Change the Risk

Insurance is always based on risk. That is how we calculate rates and determine which coverage will best suit your needs. Construction of any kind in your home increases the risk of damage. For example, you may be replacing your windows, and one day there is torrential rain, flooding your home with water, causing damage to your floors and walls. 

If you have exposed walls, you may need to add an endorsement to your policy called a building under construction, it will cost a bit extra, but if anything were to happen to your home during this time, you would be covered subject to restrictions and limitations on your policy.

If you are leaving your home for more than 30 days while renovations are happening, you will need to get a vacancy permit on your home, as the risk of damage including theft and burglary does increase when the home is unattended. 

There needs to be Liability Coverage

If you hired a contractor to do your renovations, be sure to see their Certificate of Insurance with your address on it to ensure they are properly covered. If not, you could be on the hook if a worker is injured on your property.

Update your Policy

Once your renovations are complete, you should call your broker to let them know about the upgrades that have been made to your home. These updates will change the cost to rebuild your home, and could affect all future claims if there is no record of your upgrades. You may see a slight increase in your premiums, but it’s always better to be covered properly now to save you from a potential issue down the road. 


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