Insuring Your Home during Remodeling

Adding charm by keeping it safe

Everybody likes adding an extra charm to their bracelet. Remodeling your house is very similar, adding beauty and charm to the existing structure. If you’re adding an extra room or making some other improvement to your home, you will probably need to update your home insurance policy to cover the addition or improvement. You should also protect yourself from liability by ensuring that the workers performing the renovations have proper insurance coverage.

• Notify your insurance agent about your remodeling plans

Contact your insurance agent before construction begins in order to increase your coverage to reflect the new changes in your home. He or she can help you determine how much additional property coverage you’ll need and can also help you obtain extended liability or other insurance. Keep your agent informed about the progress of the remodeling in case your plans change and a different level of coverage is needed.

• Increase the amount of your coverage

Although some homeowners policies are comprehensive enough to cover most home additions and improvements, other policies make it necessary for you to increase your coverage amount. Remember that your home’s value will increase with the improvements, so you’ll soon have more to protect. Don’t make the mistake of waiting until the remodeling is completed to increase the amount of your home insurance coverage. You should do this before the work starts. If you don’t, and the improvement is damaged or destroyed before it’s completed, you’ll probably have to pay for the loss out of your own pocket–turning your remodeling plan into a very expensive job. Of course, when you purchase more insurance, your premiums will increase.

• What your homeowners insurance should cover

If you’re adding a new room or other structure to your house, you would be wise to specifically name the new addition as a covered item on your homeowner’s policy. Otherwise, if the new structure is damaged, the insurance company might not cover your loss. However, a new roof or modern storm proof windows do not necessarily need to be named as covered items in your policy. In most cases, these improvements will increase the overall value of your house, and you should simply increase your total coverage amount to reflect your home’s greater value. Talk to your agent for details. Keep in mind that you may also need to buy increased coverage for any new furniture or other personal property you purchase.
While your remodeling is being done, you also need to consider protection for the building supplies that your contractor uses to complete the job. If supplies such as carpeting, tiles, or lumber are stolen, your homeowners insurance or the contractor’s business insurance should cover the theft. The time to find out, though, is before a supplier starts delivering these items to your house.