Insurance Insights

Home Renovations - Remember Your Homeowners Insurance

By Justin Staebler | Johnson Financial Group

3 minute read time

Home renovations and improvement projects are on the rise. As a result of the pandemic, many homeowners are evaluating their current homes to align with significant lifestyle changes, such as remote work, virtual schooling and even new recreational habits. With more time being spent at home, it makes sense that homeowners are investing in home improvement projects that will add space, enhance comfort and potentially increase their home’s value.

Many homeowners spend hours browsing ideas online and discussing options with experts. Then, they must begin the process of setting a budget, assessing contractors, reviewing bids and securing permits. But one key part of the planning process that homeowners should also keep in mind is evaluating proper insurance coverage for the renovation.

What about your homeowners insurance coverage?

Before you start a remodeling project or hire a contractor to work on your home, it’s essential to revisit your homeowners policy with your trusted insurance partner. While certain improvements may provide safety discounts, others will likely require additional or different insurance coverage – depending on the value they add to your home. There also may be coverages unique to remodeling projects that should be considered. Common renovations that may increase the value of your home include the addition of square footage, a kitchen or a bathroom renovation, or a finished basement, just to name a few. This increased value can affect how much insurance you need to protect your home and possessions.

Before beginning a project, ask yourself “Will this renovation increase the value of my home?” If so, you should work with an insurance professional to assess whether your existing homeowners policy is enough to cover the cost to repair or rebuild the improvement if you face an unforeseen circumstance. Remember – your home should be insured for at least 100% of its replacement cost.

Hiring a Contractor

If you plan to hire professionals for the project, you’ll want to verify they have appropriate coverage to protect both of you in case of an unexpected event. Your contractor should have liability, property and workers’ compensation insurance. Remember to ask the contractor to provide you with a certificate of insurance and confirm that any subcontractors also have appropriate coverage.

Do-It-Yourself Projects

If you plan to work on the project yourself or get help from a family member or friend, make sure to double check your own liability coverage. It’s important to have adequate protection in case anyone is injured while helping.

Renovations that May Benefit Your Homeowners Coverage

A home renovation doesn’t necessarily mean your insurance premiums will increase. Some projects reduce risks and the potential for future claims. In general, updates that make your home safer or more secure may help you save money, including the following examples:

  • Older roofs and roofing material have a higher risk for claims than those that have been updated. A new roof may help lower your insurance costs.
  • Adding safety features such as security systems, gas detectors, smoke alarms and fences around a backyard or pool may provide discounts.
  • Updating or replacing your HVAC system, electric and plumbing can lower hazard risks and can also benefit your homeowners coverage.

Advisors at Johnson Financial Group are here to help you understand your coverage and the best way to protect you and your home. A conversation with your advisor ensures you are covered well before your project begins. Contact an advisor today

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Justin Staebler

Justin Staebler

VP Personal Lines Insurance Sales Manager | Johnson Financial Group

As Personal Insurance Sales Manager, Justin is responsible for the team of Personal Insurance agents who provide home, auto and umbrella insurance solutions. He and his team are dedicated to helping individuals manage risk and protect their assets.