Fire Insurance And Home Renovations: Adapting Your Policy During Construction – Written by Mary Van Keuren Written by Mary Van Keuren Arrow Right Contributor, Insurance Mary Van Keuren has written for insurance domains such as Coverage.com and The Simple Dollar for the past five years, specializing in home and auto insurance. He has written extensively for consumer websites including Reviews.com and Slumber Yard. Prior to that, he worked as a writer in academia for several decades. Connect with Marie Van Keuren on LinkedIn Connect with Marie Van Keuren by Email Email
Edited by Mariah Posey Edited by Mariah PoseyArrow Writing Editor, Insurance Mariah Posey is an auto and homeowners insurance writer and editor. She aims to make travel insurance as convenient as possible by keeping the reader at the forefront of her work. Connect with Mariah Posey on Twitter
Fire Insurance And Home Renovations: Adapting Your Policy During Construction
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A home renovation project can be exciting, stressful and all-consuming. Homeowners are likely to closely consider their project’s budget, as well as details such as design inspiration and a timeline for completing the work. While there are many important considerations to make, an easy detail to overlook is how renovations after the project is completed can change the amount of homeowners insurance coverage you need. Even during the renovation process, you may want to increase coverage to cover the worksite and contractors on your property.
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Although homeowner’s insurance does not directly cover new renovations, your existing home insurance policy may need to be adjusted after your renovations are completed. If you’re planning a minor renovation — maybe some new paint and a set of built-in bookcases in your living room — your homeowner’s insurance may not be affected.
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But big renovation projects, from kitchen remodeling to finishing your basement, can change the overall remodeling value of your home. The residential coverage listed on your homeowner’s insurance policy is based on the estimated rebuild value of your home. Remodeling can affect that value because it’s determined by your home’s characteristics, such as square footage, finishes, number of bathrooms, and roof type.
For example, consider a home insured for $200,000. Owner updates kitchen: new appliances, granite countertops, custom cabinets – the works. The rebuild value of the house is now $260,000. If a disaster such as a fire destroys the home, $200,000 in coverage may not be enough to restore the home to its original condition.
The type of renovations you make to your home will affect the rate of change your insurance requires. Generally, anything that increases the value of your home indicates the need for more insurance coverage and the associated higher premiums. But that’s not always the case.
Adding an addition is an important renovation project that will increase your home’s square footage and will undoubtedly increase your home’s value because square footage is one of the primary factors used in determining the value of your remodel. Building a family room in the back of your home, for example, or adding a space-enhancing dormer on the second floor will add value to your home.
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The right time to call your insurer for a home addition is while you are still in the planning stages. Once you’ve nailed down the architectural drawings, call your insurance agent and tell them what you’re planning. They can check for possible premium increases so that you are fully aware of your costs post-renewal.
While improvement projects like upgrading your kitchen or bathroom may not increase your square footage, they can affect your homeowner’s insurance policy. Most interior renovations are designed to get rid of old, outdated elements and replace them with new ones. The grade or type of materials used in places like your kitchen and bathroom are often questions your insurance agent will ask when helping to calculate your home’s remodeling estimate. If you’ve upgraded these rooms, it’s worth calling your property insurer.
After these updates, you might want to consider
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