Home Insurance Q & A – Can I Repair or Renovate My House Without Changing My Insurance?
While it might be tempting to power through a renovation to your house without contacting your insurer in order to save on home insurance rates, this is risky. While you might keep cheaper rates in the short term, you can run into big trouble down the road. When it comes to changes to your home, your insurance provider always needs to be in the know! Consider these scenarios…
~ If you are renovating by adding an addition to your home without having informed your insurance provider, you are not covered if something happens during the renovation. You will be out the money you put in if something goes awry, such as a fire for example. You also face a higher risk of theft while your home is under construction. You should be contacting your insurance provider once you have your permit in place for the renovation and you are ready to get your project started.
~ If your renovation is a large undertaking, and you are actually going to be vacating your home, then this requires an update to your policy. Talk to your broker about what your reno entails and whether it will be extensive enough to change your home’s status to one of “under construction”.
~ If your renovation involves changing the use of a space, such as converting a garage into a room, you should check your insurance policy to see if that space is included in your current coverage. If not, it will need to be added in.
~ If your renovation is not adding or converting any space, but simply improving upon what you have, such as an upgrade to a kitchen or bathroom, this is still something to discuss with your provider. The reno you are doing may add considerable value to your home and you want to be sure that you are fully covered for the replacement value. You definitely don’t want to be under-insured!
~ If your renovation is taking steps to actually make your home safer, such as repairing or replacing an old electrical system or dealing with an old roof, you could actually end up saving on your insurance rates. It’s definitely worth it to ask.
In short, any sort of change to your house and the ramifications to your home insurance policy should be discussed with your broker. If you fail to inform your provider about what is happening with your home, and make the necessary adjustments to your policy, you run the risk of being denied a claim or coverage. Never assume what is in your policy and that you will be covered, even during a renovation. It’s always better to ask and be transparent, than to be surprised by a denial of coverage due to an assumption you made.
Image source: FreeDigitalPhotos.net | Stuart Miles