Renovations: Updating or renovating your home can affect your insurance. 

How renovations can affect your insurance depends on the extent of the renovation, the people doing the work, if the home will be vacant, if the work is structural and many other factors.   When planning a renovation it can be difficult to look beyond the shiny finishes and open space and many homeowners forget to think about how this can impact their insurance policy.    

Some Considerations

1. Call us BEFORE any work begins  

Discuss the nature of the renovation with us first so we can decide if higher limits of coverage are needed, or perhaps a different policy to cover the renovation until the work is complete.  Calling us after work has begun may be too late to give you proper advice and ensure you have adequate protection.

2. Certain updates may be part of your renovation and can save you money  

Perhaps you are updating the furnace, installing a tankless water heater, having a backflow valve installed, putting on a new roof or installing cameras or an alarm system.  These are example of upgrades that can save you money! 

3. Is the work structural? 

Does the reno go beyond new kitchen cabinets, countertops and paint? If you are doing any structural work that involves opening up space and taking down walls, underpinning a basement or increasing space with an addition you may need an entirely new policy to protect you against the additional risks that come with a significant remodel.  

4. Hiring a contractor? 

Check and ask to see a copy of their insurance policy. Ensure they have adequate limits of general liability to cover negligence on the contractors part that may cause injury or property damage to others.   Does the contractor have a builders risk policy to cover damage to your home and materials?  Many don’t which means it is your responsibility to obtain this coverage.  What about Worker’s Comp? What if an employee of the contractor or a subcontractor gets hurt on the job site?  If adequate coverage and limits are not in place to cover the medical and rehab expenses of the work, you, the homeowner may be sued.

5. Acting as your own General Contractor? 

You should carefully consider the risks associated with this as you may be responsible for any subcontractors if they injure themselves or someone else on your property.

Have any questions? We can help.

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