Springtime Projects and Homeowners Insurance

14 Apr
Springtime home improvements and homeowners insurance

Updating your home? There are a few insurance issues that you should address before you get started on your projects.

Springtime not only means melting snow and longer days, for many of us, it means it’s time to tackle those house projects we have let sit all winter long. Regardless of whether you are starting a major home remodel, new construction or just a few simple repairs there are a few homeowners insurance issues that you should address before you get started on your projects.

Issues range from confirming that your possessions are covered during the remodel to confirming your contractor is bonded and licensed. Here are a few things you should consider when tackling springtime home projects:

Review Your Insurance Policy: Review your policy and contact your agent to make sure that your property is covered during a remodel or big project. If it is necessary to move furniture and possessions to a storage unit during the work, make sure that your homeowners coverage extends to the storage unit, it’s possible that you may need a separate policy.

Confirm Your Contractors Coverage: If you have hired a general contractor to perform the repairs or renovations, confirm that they are licensed and have a surety bond in place. This will ensure that you are covered in the event that your contractor cannot finish the job due to illness or bankruptcy.

The contractor’s insurance policy should cover any property damage and injuries that happen on the worksite. Check the contractor’s insurance certificate and make sure that coverage is in place for the entire time they will be working on your house.

Failing to confirm the contractor’s insurance coverage is one of the biggest mistakes that homeowners make when doing a remodel or home improvement. It can be a very costly mistake.

Consider a Builders Risk Policy: Any materials, tools or equipment that are left on your property that are damaged or stolen would not be covered by your homeowner’s policy. This means that any stolen building materials would not be covered which could be expensive if copper piping or other expensive materials are stolen from your house. Consult your agent and contractor to see if a builders risk policy is a good idea during the construction period.

Verify Subcontractors Are Covered: Most contractors will bring in subcontractors to do various parts of the work, such as electrical. It is extremely important that you confirm that all subcontractors are carrying workers compensation coverage or if they are covered by the general contractors insurance policy. This is key, otherwise you could end up being on the hook if any of the subcontractors or their employees are hurt on your property. Ask to see insurance certificates before letting anyone start work on your property.

Completed Operations Coverage: This type of policy provides protection for things that can go wrong with the renovation after the work is done. If an electrician makes an error that cause fire damage after the work is complete, this insurance would help cover the cost of repairs and correcting the original mistake. Check with your agent to see if this coverage makes sense for your needs.

Hire a Professional: Your homeowners policy will not cover damage due to poor workmanship. As an example, improperly installed shingles would not be covered, you would have to go back to the contractor so hiring the right person up front is important. Get recommendations from friends and family and check references before making a final decision.

Ask a Professional: Laws, building codes and insurance requirements will vary by state so it is best to consult with your insurance agent before staring a major project to ensure that you are properly protected throughout the entire process. They should be able to advise you on coverage types that would be most beneficial to your particular situation.

Adjust Your Limits: While painting your fence may make your house look better, its not going to increase your home value, but a major renovation will almost always increase the value of your home. If you have completed a major upgrade, check with your insurance agent to make sure you are carrying enough coverage to protect your upgraded home.

Insurance is an important part of any major home project so call your agent before starting any big spring projects. For a new home insurance policy or to easily shop and compare rates, get up to 12 home insurance quotes today!

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