How home renovations impact home insurance

By Christine Purfield
June 23, 2016

Checking the insurance policy is rarely at the top of any to-do list when planning home renovations, but it should be. Here are four reasons to check your home insurance before you begin any renovating job.

Amount of coverage

Some renovations will add value to your home. Others, such as adding a swimming pool, may add a higher risk factor. In any event, you'll want to check with your insurance agent if the amount of coverage on your policy will still be appropriate once the renovating is finished and the dust has settled.

Type of coverage

If you decide to convert a spare room into a computer space with attractive shelving and a few filing cabinets, it's unlikely your home insurance will be affected. However, if you then consider using your new space to start a home-based business, you'll need to check that you're covered. Property and liability insurance, whether in your home policy or as separate coverage, is important to protect you against any loss or damage to your new office or equipment. It may also cover you against claims due to accidents or injuries to anyone visiting your office for business-related purposes.

Work in progress

While you're making changes to your home – perhaps remodeling the kitchen, adding living space, or renovating the kitchen – you're likely to have building materials, expensive new appliances, or tools sitting in the house ready to do the job or to be fitted. Make sure your home insurance policy covers you for these items that haven't yet become part of the home or may just be there temporarily.

Who's doing the work?

Whether you plan on doing the work yourself or hiring a contractor, make sure you check with your insurance agent and find out what your risks and liabilities may be and that your policy covers them. Check your contractor's insurance – particularly the workers' compensation plan – to prevent nasty surprises in the event of an accident.

Checking your policy coverage before renovating, and chatting with your insurance agent about coverage and premiums, will ensure that you and your assets are fully protected – before, during, and after.

Photos by: Alpine Insurance, Elite Analysis, Kitchener Executive Consultants, MD Home Improvements, Making Nice in the Midwest

About Christine Purfield

Christine Purfield traded numbers for words when she gave up the dizzy heights of finance and accounting to become a freelance writer. She can usually be found writing, knitting, or avoiding housework. If you can't find her, she's travelling.

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