Before You Start a Remodeling Project Contact Your Insurance AgentPosted on Mar 17, 2021
If you are among those who plan to remodel your home this year, it’s essential you have the right type and amount of insurance, both during your renovation and after, according to the Insurance Information Institute. So, it’s important you contact your insurance agent before beginning your project.
Steps to Take Before Starting Your Remodeling Project
It could be a costly mistake waiting until your project begins or waiting until it’s finished; therefore, you’ll want to ensure you take the following important steps:
1. Inform Your Insurance Agent About your Home Renovation Plans
Inquire about a homeowners policy update, and if there are other types of insurance, you’ll want to obtain, so you remain protected during the renovation process.
2. Secure the Proper Building Codes & Proper Permits
Before beginning a home remodel, ensure your project will meet local building codes. After the work is finished, your insurance policy might not cover damages that occurred during the project if you’re not up to code. So, be sure to check with your local building department for notification and blueprint approval for all requirements for bringing your property up to code.
3. Ensure the Contractors Have Insurance & Bonds
Prior to hiring any contractors to perform the renovation project, ask them for proof of the required insurance coverage for them and any employees they have. This includes contractor liability and workers compensation insurance coverage.
If the general contractor delegates specific work to subcontractors like plumbers or electricians, for example, you’ll want to ask for proof of contractor liability insurance (for property damage) and workers’ compensation (for injuries).
Many homeowners need to increase their “no-fault” medical protection limit for these types of workers. For a bigger project, you’ll want to consider purchasing a “course of construction” or Builders Risk policy, which covers your house during the renovation process from theft or weather damages.
Don’t attempt a DIY project unless you’re qualified. Individuals who aren’t construction workers shouldn’t help either unless there’s an adequate amount of liability coverage to protect them.
4. Keep Remodeling Area Safe
You should take precautions to manage risk and avoid accidents during the project. Require that the work area be kept clean and as clear as possible, and confine the area. Be sure to have first-aid and other safety equipment on hand.
5. Put Yourself on the Policy
Homeowners should always have themselves listed on a contractor’s general liability policy as an additional insured. This can typically be done for a nominal fee or no cost at all. It verifies active insurance since it comes from the insurance agent and is dated. For any reason the contractor misses a payment that cancels the insurance, you’ll receive a notification.
6. Take “Before Photos
Be sure to take photos of the remodeling project before it begins. Then, as the project progresses, take more pictures during the remodeling and when it is finished.
Update Your Insurance Policies Once the Project is Finished
Inform your insurance agent when the home renovations are complete since insurance limits might need to be increased after a major renovation. You might need to copy all the receipts and records to be sent to the insurance company. This will help them evaluate requirements and assign accurate values for the renovations.
The insurance agent can suggest any coverage required for more costly items. You might need additional liability coverage if a spa or pool was added, or having an umbrella policy might be the ideal solution for this situation.
Make sure you inquire about any discounts too. When you install things like stronger doors, smoke detectors, burglar alarms, or deadbolt locks, they might qualify for discounts. Certain insurance companies also provide substantial discounts to individuals who install more sophisticated fire alarm systems, sprinkler systems, home security systems, or other devices.
If you’ve made updates to your electricity, plumbing, windows, or roof, these might also qualify for discounts. This is particularly true if there were any energy-saving features added.
In locations susceptible to intense storms, reinforced roofs, storm shutters, a hail-proof roof, and shatterproof windows can also get you a discount. You’ll want to ask your insurance agent about these because discounts can vary by state and carrier.