As we get further into the new year and closer to warmer weather, you've probably began to think of home renovations. Whether it's because your roommate broke the pipe to your bathroom sink (true story) or your roof needs repairing, NorthEast Insurance Services wants to make sure that you and your Homeowners Insurance policy are prepared.
How can my current Homeowners Insurance help?
A standard homeowners insurance policy includes dwelling coverage, other structures coverage, personal property coverage, loss-of-use coverage, personal liability coverage, and medical payments coverage.
What does all that mean?
For starters, personal liability coverage protects you if someone is hurt on your property and you're found responsible. Personal property coverage helps if your personal belongings, like furniture, clothing, and appliances are stolen or damaged.
What is considered a major renovation?
Generally speaking, the criteria is:
- The home will be unoccupied while construction is occurring
- The total cost of the renovation is budgeted to be 10% or more of the home's replacement value
Are there any specific renovations that would affect my insurance premium?
Absolutely! Before construction begins, check how the home renovation will influence your insurance rates so you can be fully prepared for any changes in coverage or cost.
While some renovations will increase your premium, there are others that actually lower it! Don't miss out simply because you didn't think about your home insurance during a renovation. Having a heart-to-heart with your home insurance agent or carrier may not be part of your preparations, but it should be.
Some examples of renovations that can affect your premium are:
- Increased living space: Aka adding rooms to your home. This increases the square footage and your current policy may not be enough to cover it.
- Upgrading or enlarging a kitchen or bathroom
- Pools: Most likely it will increase the value of your home and add liability risk.
- Flooring: If you end up using a unique material for your floors, it could be more expensive to replace.
Keep in mind that the replacement cost of your home isn't the same as the market value or selling price.
What are risks I should consider before renovating?
- Increased foot traffic
- Valuables being stolen
- Damages done by a worker's tools
- Vandalism and unauthorized use of an unoccupied home
- Contractors mistakes such as damage of the home
What options do I have for insurance during renovations?
Two common options are:
- Adding coverage to your Homeowners Insurance
- Builders Risk Insurance which protects materials and/or equipment used in the renovation should those items sustain physical loss or damage from a covered cause.
Additional resources on home renovations:
- Travelers Resource Center
- Home remodeling time: 9 things to know about insurance coverage by PropertyCasualty360
Homeowners Insurance by Carrier: