Have you been binge-watching home improvement shows over the past few months? Or maybe you sit and scroll for hours on design sites like Pinterest or Houzz and make dream boards of your perfect new kitchen or bathroom. Whether you just moved in, or have been staring at a room you have wanted to redo for years, you may be ready to refresh your space.
We’ve all been spending more time inside our houses over the past couple of years (isn’t that the truth!) and this has resulted in families taking on all kinds of very cool projects, both big and small. One aspect of the planning that might easily be overlooked, is checking in with your Ostic insurance broker to make sure a project will be properly protected during and after the renovation process.
In this blog, we aim to answer our most frequently asked questions about the impact of renovations on home insurance.
Will My Home Insurance Rates Go Up After My Renovation?
Homeowners may worry that their home insurance premiums will increase following a renovation. This is not always the case.
Expert Tip: Some home renovations and upgrades can actually reduce your home insurance rates.
When might you find some savings?
Projects like fully upgrading your wiring and plumbing or replacing an oil tank with a high-efficiency furnace, could actually result in premium reductions.
When might you need to increase your policy limits?
Projects like adding a large addition, or upgrading fixtures and permanent features with more expensive materials, might mean that you should update your coverage limits once the project is finished. This is the time to have a quick check-in with your broker, who will do a new evaluation and make sure you are protecting the new investments you have made in your home.
What Is Renovation Insurance?
Depending on the size and scope of your reno, you may need to purchase a specialized product called Builder’s Risk Insurance. While this is only necessary when you have a major building project, it is essential protection that is not automatically covered by your home insurance policy. When it’s a big job, ask your broker before you begin!
This type of additional coverage typically covers your home and contents, as well as anyone who lives in your home or is working on your renovation, in the event of damage or injury during the process.
Your broker will talk you through your plans and help you tailor coverage that meets your project’s unique needs and specific timelines.
Do I Need Renovation Insurance?
The answer is: It depends!
This often Googled question really comes down to your own renovation plans, trades involved, the cost of your project, and more. Just replacing some bathroom tiles on your own with materials from your local home improvement store? Unless your hardware store sells solid gold tile, extra coverage is not needed. Replacing some light fixtures or painting? Also no.
Here is a list of projects where getting coverage advice from your broker before you begin, just makes good sense:
- Finishing your basement
- Updating your plumbing or electrical
- Updating heating systems, fuel tanks and anything related to wood burning appliances
- Adding additional square footage to your home
- Adding a pool or hot tub
- Installing solar panels on your roof
- Building a detached structure on your property (e.g. a shed, garage, etc.)
There are so many details to think of in a big home project that it can be easy to forget about the accidental damage that can sometimes occur. For example, a structural wall could collapse or a pipe could burst. Having the right insurance during a renovation can protect you from the unexpected costs associated with repairing this type of damage and get you back on track more quickly.
If you have any questions about your home insurance or any upcoming renovation plans, don’t hesitate to contact the team at Ostic Insurance — we’re here to help.