Renovating? Why it’s a good idea to speak to your insurance broker
Aug 9, 2016 2 minute read
Is it time for a home makeover?
Renovations not only make your home more comfortable, they can also raise the value of your home. Best of all, you could be eligible for insurance discounts once the renovations are finished. Before you get into full renovation mode, keep these tips in mind to ensure you have the right coverage in place to protect your new investment.
What classifies as a renovation?
The definition of a renovation varies. Is painting your walls or changing baseboards a renovation or maintenance? What about tearing down walls or building new rooms?
Generally speaking, if you are doing something simple such as re-painting your walls, you do not need to contact your broker. However, if you are changing the structure of your home, finishing your basement, adding a garage or updating the exterior, contact your BrokerLink broker before you move forward with your home’s renovations.
Call your broker before you start renovations.
Depending on what your renovations are, your BrokerLink broker may need to inform your insurance company ahead of time. Your broker will also provide you with information on how to proceed based on what your insurance company’s restrictions are.
Remember: Most home insurance policies are void if the home is unoccupied for 30 days or more. If you must vacate your home during renovations, contact your BrokerLink broker to ensure your home is covered.
Why do I need to contact my broker?
Once the renovations are completed, your BrokerLink broker can help with:
1. Updating the replacement value of your home
In some instances your renovations may increase the value of your home, which means you will need to update the replacement value of your home insurance policy. The replacement cost of your home is the total cost your insurance company would pay to fully reconstruct your home if it were damaged. If you have installed value-added features such as a hot tub, heated floors or a deck, your home’s replacement value should reflect these upgrades to ensure they are covered in the event of an incident. Learn more about your home’s replacement value here.
2. Premium discounts
Not only can renovations raise the value of your home, but some upgrades may also reduce your likelihood of an incident resulting in a claim. Because of this, you may be eligible for home insurance discounts. Some upgrades and added features that may qualify you for home insurance discounts include:
- Updates: If you have an older house, some upgrades such as installing copper wiring, a tankless water heater or rubber roofing can qualify you for insurance discounts. Our blog post Insurance for homes with character provides more information about what to consider for your unique home.
- Prevention additions: Protecting your home against spring flooding and sewer back-up with a device such as a sump pump is another way to qualify for an insurance discount. Learn about three simple devices to prevent sewer back-up here.
- Alarms: Your premium may be reduced if your home has alarm prevention features such as a monitored home security system.
Protip: Be proactive with the materials you choose
Think of renovations as an investment to your home. Consider the quality of the materials and workmanship used, as well as how your upgrades will reduce future damages or losses. For example, if you are thinking of finishing your basement, consider installing a sump pump. Adding a sump pump now will be easier and cheaper than in the future when the basement is finished.
Don’t forget that the best reason to renovate your home is to enjoy it. Your house is not just an investment, but a home. Your BrokerLink broker can help you find the coverage you need so you can focus on enjoying your newly renovated home.