Sometimes you want to freshen up your living space with a minor, or a major, renovation. Renovating your home can be a rewarding project, but it needs to be carefully planned beforehand. Without the right protection in place, you could end up facing disaster rather than improvement.
Before starting any renovation project, you should always call your Missouri independent insurance agent first. Even if you think your existing protection is adequate, they can advise you on whether you need to update your coverage before you begin. Check out this guide to a smart home renovation for starters.
Why You Should Always Call Your Missouri Independent Insurance Agent before Starting Home Renovations
The right preparation for a major home project is to call up your Missouri independent insurance agent. They can review your existing homeowners insurance policy and determine if you need to add more coverage. If you'll just be painting a wall or two, it's not necessary to make the call, but larger renovation projects should always start by checking in with your Missouri independent insurance agent.
Smart Home Renovations Step One: Talk to Your Agent
If you'll be tearing down walls, making additions, or completing any other huge home projects, you must begin by talking with your Missouri independent insurance agent. The home insurance you already have might not be enough to cover the new tools and materials that you'll need to complete the project. And according to insurance expert Paul Martin, home insurance isn't designed to cover many renovation projects in progress.
When making additions to your home, you'll need materials, tools, etc., that aren't yet a part of your home. To protect these elements against theft, damage, etc., you might need to get a builders risk insurance policy. Your Missouri independent insurance agent can further explain why your existing home insurance coverage might not be enough to tackle a renovation project.
Smart Home Renovations Step Two: Double-Check Your Contractor’s Coverage
When you hire a professional to work on your home, you need to make sure that they come with coverage of their own. Legitimate contractors carry contractor insurance, including workers' comp coverage to protect their team and commercial general liability coverage to protect themselves against lawsuits. It's critical to double-check that your hired contractor has both of these coverages before they can start working.
Failure to check your contractor's coverage could even result in you getting scammed. There's an enormous amount of risk involved if you hire a contractor who won't provide proof of coverage. Save yourself the possibility of a major hassle down the road and request to see proof of insurance from the start.
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Smart Home Renovations Step Three: Hold onto Records and Receipts
Having evidence of your home's condition and specs before making renovations can help if you need to file insurance claims later. Take some time to document your home in its current state with photos and videos. This will allow you to submit evidence for claims if necessary and double-check your contractor's work to make sure it's been done right.
If you do end up needing to file an insurance claim, you'll also want to have copies of any receipts. Keep receipts from all tools and materials purchased for the project, as well as what you paid your hired help like contractors. Make things even easier on yourself by keeping all these records together in one place for your home renovation project.
Smart Home Renovations Step Four: Update Your Home Insurance at the End
You likely need additional coverage before starting a home renovation, but it's necessary to consider that you'll probably also need more coverage after the project is finished. Especially if you've made additions or improvements to your home that increase its square footage or the property value, you'll need to add more coverage to your existing home insurance policy.
This is when having copies of all your receipts, etc., comes in handy, because your homeowners insurance company may need to review them when updating your coverage. Your Missouri independent insurance agent might also suggest that you add more liability coverage to your policy if you've added any "attractive nuisances" like a pool or trampoline to your home.
If You Do the Renovations Yourself, Are There Extra Important Coverages to Consider?
Completing home renovations by yourself ups the risk level significantly. While your Missouri independent insurance agent can easily recommend which additional coverages you should consider, you'll likely want to start with these:
- Construction material coverage: This covers materials used for the renovation while they're kept at your home or transported to your home against theft, damage, and destruction.
- Dwelling under renovation coverage: This protects the renovation project's materials from getting stolen or damaged at your home while the project is underway. Foundation collapse coverage is also included to protect against a major disaster during the project.
- Vacant home coverage: This protects you in case you have to stay somewhere else while your renovation project is in progress, and is important to consider if you'll be out of your home for at least 60 days.
Successful renovation projects start with having the proper coverage for every element. Talk with your Missouri independent insurance agent while you're still in the planning phase of renovations, and then once again after the project has been completed.
Why Choose a Missouri Independent Insurance Agent?
Missouri independent insurance agents simplify the process by shopping and comparing insurance quotes for you. Not only that, but they’ll also cut through the jargon and clarify the fine print so you know exactly what you’re getting.
Missouri independent insurance agents also have access to multiple insurance companies, ultimately finding you the best home insurance coverage, accessibility, and competitive pricing while working for you.
TrustedChoice.com Article | Reviewed by Paul Martin
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