Congratulations on your renovation!
Whether you are redoing your kitchen, updating your bathroom, or finishing your basement, renovating your house is a very exciting time! While you would probably like to spend most of your time picking paint colors and new furniture, it is important to think about what this means for your insurance policy as well and if you potentially need home renovation insurance.
While most renos go completely normally without incident, making sure that you know your insurance policy and how it might be impacted by your project is an important step! Hopefully, this short read will answer all your questions so you can get back to planning your project in no time!
Does Basic Homeowners Insurance Cover Renovations?
Basic homeowners insurance does cover many of the elements of your renovation. Things like your liability coverage are still in play to protect you in case of an accident on your property, and your standard coverage will cover damage to the new items that might be entering your home (for example, the new appliances that are still in the garage).
However, what often happens is that during the renovation, your risk increases substantially for something to happen and the amount of insurance you have now is not taking into account all the value of the new possessions coming into your home. Because of this, it might be smart to look into some of these other home renovation insurance options while doing a home renovation to fill the gaps in your coverage.
Different Home Renovation Insurance Policies
Construction Material Coverage
Many renovation companies do have insurance policies that will help protect the materials that they are using to do the renovation, however, it is smart to have your own coverage as well in case they do not.
An example of this might be that you are redoing your basement, and all the wood that is being used to frame that basement is being stored in that basement. If your basement floods, all that building material could be destroyed and your contractor’s insurance might not cover that damage, leaving you with tens of thousands in extra expenses.
Construction material insurance is there for just these types of situations and might be a good option for those that have had issues in the past with these types of problems. This could help you avoid a major headache between you and your contractor trying to decide who is going to pay for replacement materials.
Vacant Home Insurance
If you are doing a major renovation that might require you to live somewhere else for some time, Vacant home insurance is a great option.
This insurance gives you an extra buffer with your insurance company to notice damage that might take place while you are away.
For example, while you are living somewhere else, a storm could come through and cause damage to your home that isn’t noticed till you return. Most insurance companies might call into question why you didn’t notice for so long and try to deny your claim. Vacant home insurance tells your insurance company that you might not notice this damage right away and gives you that time to still make your claim.
Contractor Insurance (if you’re hiring)
If you are hiring someone else to do your reno, having contractor insurance is an option if you feel like you need a little extra backup.
It is important to always ask contractors and subcontractors for their insurance information so you know that they have their own coverage in case something happens. If they tell you no, avoid them at all costs.
Even if they do have coverage, you may feel you want to have a little policy just in case. Contractor insurance is usually pretty cheap and will help you have that peace of mind if you think that you need it.
Home renovations are an exciting time and it is easy to forget about the liability side of the project. Insurance companies love to play games with their customers and will try to get out of paying a settlement in any way possible. Taking a look at your policy and making sure you understand what you have covered in your home renovation insurance policies is extremely important to make sure everything goes according to plan.
If you are having a problem with an insurance claim related to a renovation, give us a call and we can help you make sure you get the settlement you deserve from your insurance company!