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When planning home renovations, you have a lot of things to think about, including hiring a qualified contractor, choosing the right materials, working out a schedule and figuring out how the renovations will affect your family’s routines. You should also be thinking about your homeowners insurance coverage.

You Might Need to Adjust Your Coverage During the Renovation Process
Get in touch with your homeowners insurance company before you start any work on your home. You might need to raise your liability coverage since demolition and remodeling work could create unsafe conditions and increase the likelihood of an accident. 

“Dwelling under construction” insurance might be a good idea. This add-on coverage would cover damaged or destroyed building materials or damage to the foundation during renovations.

Depending on the type of work being done, you might have to put some of your belongings in storage temporarily. Check with your homeowners insurance company to find out if your possessions would be covered off-site and if you would need to modify your policy to cover their full value.

You Might Need Different Coverage Going Forward
Dwelling coverage is the amount of money the insurance company would pay to replace your home if it were damaged or destroyed. Renovations, even to one room, might significantly increase your home’s value. If you bought an insurance policy with enough coverage to repair or replace your home as it was at that time, raising its value through renovations could leave you underinsured if you failed to change the terms of your policy.

If you plan to renovate your home to operate a business, you might have to change your coverage. For example, you might need higher property limits to cover expensive equipment or increased liability coverage if clients would come to your home.

Your Insurer Would Deny Coverage for Changes It Didn’t Know About
If you didn’t tell your insurer about a new room or another feature and someone got injured, the company could deny the claim since that feature wasn’t included in your policy. That means you would be responsible for any medical or legal bills. Your insurance company would also likely cancel your policy. If you started building an addition and then the work area got damaged or destroyed by a fire, your insurance company could refuse to pay if it knew nothing about the renovation.

Your Insurance Premiums Could Drop
Some home improvements could make your house less risky to insure and lower your premiums. For example, replacing the roof could reduce the chance of leaks and storm damage, and your insurance company might reward you with a significant reduction in your rates.

Be Honest With Your Insurance Company
Your homeowners insurance needs could change as a result of renovations. You might have to increase your coverage and pay higher premiums, but you shouldn’t keep information about renovations to yourself in order to avoid a rate hike. If something went wrong, you would have to foot the bill.

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