A major renovation can rejuvenate your home and increase its value. However, what many homeowners don’t realize is that they should be letting their home insurance provider know before starting. Home insurance policies provide coverage from unexpected events—a renovation, however, is planned. This means that if you don’t notify your insurer before starting a renovation, you will not be covered if something goes wrong. And that’s the last thing you want during an already costly renovation.
When Should You Notify Your Insurance Company?
During the planning stage of your renovation, it’s always a good idea to contact your insurance company for any project, large or small. They will be able to provide clarity as to whether your current policy covers you for the project you have planned. Larger scale renovations, like additions or the removal of walls, can often require additional coverage. Whereas, minor upgrades likely do not. Even if you think your renovation is relatively minor, it’s always a good idea to double-check. Again, if you file a claim during a renovation, and you never notified your insurer, you may not be covered.
After your renovation is complete, follow up with your insurer. Renovations can change quite a bit in your home. Square footage can change and new features you add may cost more to replace. These are all things that your insurer takes into account for your policy. By having your insurer reevaluate your house after a renovation, you ensure that its replacement value is up-to-date and correct.
The Reasons Why Your Insurer Needs To Be Aware Of Renovations
- Liability. There’s always a chance something can go wrong during a build. You don’t want to be found liable for an injury and not have coverage.
- Home value. Major renovations can have a significant impact on your home’s value—and the cost of replacement. If a renovation impact’s your home’s value, your policy needs to be adjusted.
- Vacancy can nullify your policy. Many home insurance policies typically stipulate that you occupy your home while it is insured. If a major renovation requires you to be absent from your home for an extended period of time, you may be breaking terms of your policy.
- Burglary. Major construction can often make your home more vulnerable to break-ins. If a burglary happens, and you didn’t notify your insurer about a renovation, you could have your claim denied.
- Surprises. You never know what a renovation can uncover about your home. Old plumbing, outdated wiring—these are common things that can be discovered in old homes during a renovation. These issues may need to be addressed in order to maintain your coverage.
Insurance and Contractors
When conducting a major renovation, your contractor’s insurance is just as important as your home policy. Always ask for proof of liability when hiring a contractor, and make sure they are bonded and registered with WSIB. A professional contractor should always provide you with this information.
Better Safe Than Sorry
A renovation can be stressful and costly, and it may not seem like a priority to notify your insurance during this time but you can save yourself from even more stress and cost by consulting with your insurance company. You may even end up saving money! Updates to roofs, electricity and security can actually reduce your policy cost.
At Regal Insurance, our brokers will work with you to ensure your home policy is fully up-to-date so all you have to worry about is your renovation. If you plan on renovating your home any time soon, contact us today to discuss your options.