You can see it in your mind’s eye – a beautiful, sparkling new kitchen. It’s glorious. New marble countertops, sleek cabinets, and a shiny new oven and dishwasher. Gleaming hardwood floors that you can see your reflection in, a refrigerator that will hold all of the Thanksgiving leftovers with ease. Oooh, it’s gorgeous.
Record scratch and back to the present – sure, your imagination is great. But why not actually get the kitchen you want? You’ve finally decided that you’re going to take the plunge and remodel the kitchen. You’ve got a great deal of affection for your current set-up, of course, but you can’t resist the call of the marble countertops. They’re just too pretty.
So, what is there to do other than hit the hardware store to make your dream a reality? Well, we need to pause for a second on your kitchen daydreams and think about something that’s pretty important – your home insurance. Renovating your home can have an effect on your home insurance, so we’ve come up with four steps to help you renovate your home and keep your insurance happy at the same time.
1. Before you buy that paint, have a chat with your insurance agent.
Before you get carried away with the joys of renovations, you need to make sure that your insurance agent is on the same page. It’s always a good idea to keep your agent informed about any major changes to your home, and that reno definitely warrants the call. You can discuss the specifics of your grand scheme with your agent and ask if there’s anything you need to know insurance-wise. The renovations might affect the coverage you need, and you also need to make sure that you’re completely covered throughout the duration of the project.
2. Choose a general contractor that both knows what they’re doing and has great insurance.
The contractors are the ones who will be working in your home and creating the kitchen of your dreams, right? They need to be people that you can trust and that are reputable. Do some research before you hire anyone and make sure that the reviews about them are favorable. You can even ask them for references.
A factor that should play into your decision to hire the contractor is whether or not they have sufficient insurance. There are a couple different types of insurance they should carry.
- Workers’ comp. The contractor should have workers’ comp insurance in case any of the workers gets hurt on the job.
- General liability. The contractor should also have general liability insurance.
3. If you plan to do the renovations yourself…
If you want to do the renovations yourself, you’re taking on all of the risk. The thing is, your policy isn’t made to cover things like recreating your kitchen, so you might not have enough liability or property insurance. This is another reason to keep your agent informed about what you’re scheming.
If you have friends or family helping you out free of charge, they’re usually covered under your home insurance up to your liability limit, but again, keep in mind that your policy doesn’t anticipate people climbing up ladders, hammering things, or using power tools on a regular basis.
If you hire subcontractors, you need to make sure that they can provide a certificate of insurance or a copy of their policy. They need to have both general liability and workers’ comp insurance.
4. Check your policy after the reno is complete.
Ahh, you knew that all of the work and chaos that went into this remodel would be completely worth it in the end! Your new kitchen is gorgeous. But…what about your insurance policy? Renos can add a lot to the value of your house, meaning that you need to find out if you have enough home insurance to protect it. You might need to increase your coverage after the project is complete, so stay in touch with your agent and make sure to adjust your coverage appropriately.
Remodeling your home is going to pay off in the end, but make sure that you’re insured properly during the entire process. Don’t forget about your insurance company when you’re envisioning what transformations you’d like to unleash on your home.
If you’re looking to save on your home insurance, we’d be happy to help you! We’ll get you a free quote for your home insurance and help you create a plan to protect you from all of your risks. Just fill out our quote form or give us a call today to get started!