10 Home Changes you Should Share with your Insurer

Beautiful Interior of HouseAs exciting as home changes are, there is much to consider. It’s important to speak with someone from your insurance company before bringing the tools and opening the wallets. Here is a list of topics you should share with your insurer before the projects starts.

1. DIY Home Renovation

If you plan to spruce up the house yourself, pat yourself on the back. DIY home renovations can be stressful, but it’s temporary pain for a long time gain. It can leave you with a sense of accomplishment and proudness. Plus you’ll save money! Be sure to still notify your insurance company you are renovating yourself. This is crucial to make sure you are covered throughout the process.

2. Heating

If your heating system needs to be updated or you are switching to more environmentally-friendly technology, it can affect insurance rates. Check with your home insurance provider to see if these installations will help lower monthly premiums.

3. Mortgage

Paying off your mortgage can save tons of money by lowering your insurance rates. Not only is it a worthwhile financial goal but now your home will most likely be your biggest asset, and something you want to protect. Inform your insurer that you no longer have a lender on your home.

4. Kitchen

Kitchen renovations are one of the most popular ways to renovate your home. There are many home owners who want to update their 70s style kitchen and make it more modern. Now days, most people use their kitchen as a family and guest gathering place.

Renovating your kitchen can increase your home value by thousands of dollars. Whether it’s installing granite or marble countertops to adding extravagant appliances such as a high-end espresso machine or a wood-fired pizza oven, these will surely increase your home’s replacement value.

5. Bathroom

Similar to the kitchen, renovating the bathroom will increase your home’s value which means your insurance company should know about it. It is also important to take an extra look at your plumbing, to make sure it’s still in good shape to avoid any water claims or mold. If your house was built before the 1950s, there’s a chance your bathroom has galvanized pipes which only have 50 to 75 year lifespan and can rust easily. Old pipes are a frequent cause for water damage.

6. Basement

Some families like to transform their basement into a recreational space or an office. Water damage can happen when a basement is being re-furnished. Water can seep into your home or through the doorways. Before building, check outside to make sure the land is graded away from the foundation walls and see if there are any cracks in the wall that need to be repaired.  If you are concerned about water damage, read our Preventing Water Damage in the Basement PDF for the main causes of water damage in the basement and how to avoid them.

7. Pool

Before plunging into the pool of your dreams, it’s necessary to check with your insurance company to see if you are covered and adjust your homeowners policy. Having a swimming pool in your backyard will create liability risks such as accidental drowning and property damage. The best way to avoid this is to practice water safety tips and make sure the surrounding area is clean and secure.

8. Roof

A more updated roof can surely increase resale value as well as help protect your home from extreme weather damage and improve energy efficiency. Residential Roofs do deteriorate over time, so it’s imperative to have an updated roof to lower your chances of making a claim.

9. Wiring

If you have an older house, the electrical system in your home will most likely need to be upgraded. Residential homes in the early 1900s to 1940s have knob and tube wiring which is no longer installed in modern homes. Homes with this wiring might not be covered as it is considered a high safety risk.

10. Security

There are many people coming in and out of your home during a renovation; especially if the house is vacant, there can be a risk for burglary. Make sure your valuables are locked up safely and out of sight. Installing an alarm system for your newly-renovated house, can help keep your family and belongings secure, but also lower premiums.

 

If you are planning to renovate your home, there are some additional concerns you need to let your insurance company know about such as liability coverage and vacancy. If a contractor or a worker gets injured on your property, you could be held liable. Make sure they are properly insured. Furthermore, if you are planning to vacate your home while the renovation is being done, it’s crucial you let your insurance company know. Some insurance companies might offer a vacancy permit. A vacancy permit is a validation added to your homeowner policy, which will extend your home insurance to maintain coverage and insure the property while it is vacant.