2016-05-10 10:17 AM

Before Starting a Remodeling Project....Contact Your Insurance Broker

Spring is here and home improvement activity is on the rise. For those who are planning to renovate, it is important that you have the right type of insurance and the right amount of coverage.

Insurance should be in place during and after construction. Anyone considering a remodeling project should contact their broker before the process begins. Depending on the scope of work you intend to do, your broker can help you determine if you need to alter your current coverage or add more. Waiting until the project starts or is finished can be an expensive mistake, so take the following important steps to avoid an expensive problem.

1. Discuss home improvement plans with your broker. Ask about updating a homeowners policy, and ask whether or not other types of insurance will be needed for protection during the construction process. Only those who are qualified to perform DIY projects should attempt them. For a larger project, you may need to apply for a course of construction or builders risk policy. This provides coverage for the home throughout the building process.

2. Make sure the contractor is covered. Ask to see your contractor’s insurance policy before allowing any work to begin. Any reputable contractor should carry commercial general liability insurance and be happy to provide these documents for your review. If your contractor is not willing to provide insurance documents they should not be hired.

3. Store all receipts and records. Be sure to document the project by taking before, during and after photos. This provides a virtual record of what the property looked like at each phase of the project. Keep a copy of all contracts and documents from contractors and other vendors. Remember to save the receipts for all materials and items purchased.

4. Update insurance policies after the project. Always let your broker know when any home improvements are made. Insurance amounts may need to be increased following a major renovation. Your insurance company may request and updated rebuilding cost evaluator or a home inspection to determine if insurance values need to be increased. You may want to consider more liability coverage if a pool or spa was added. An umbrella policy may be the right solution for this situation.

Always ask your broker if you qualify for additional discounts. Some insurers offer discounts for alarm systems, sprinkler systems and water mitigation devices. Newly updated plumbing, electricity, roof and furnace could also result in further discounts.

If a renovation project is the result of a growing family, be sure to consider other insurance changes that may positively benefit a new spouse, baby or adopted child.

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