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how condo renovations impact your condo insurance

Perhaps the only tradition prouder than owning property is, well, being able to change your property. Renovating your condo is a great way to spruce up your living environment and increase its resale value. Just make sure condo insurance surprises don't leave you feeling rundown during your domestic facelift.

Do I need to insure condo renovations myself?

If the remodeling takes place in your own unit, then generally yes. Your homeowners association (HOA) typically owns, remodels, and covers the building or common areas. But the structural elements of your unit (like fixtures, cabinets, inner walls, etc.) belong to you — and are yours to renovate and protect with condo insurance.

In some cases, however, your HOA includes coverage for structures inside your unit, plus improvements you make to your condo. Though it's not the most stimulating read, it's important to go over your HOA insurance policy carefully before starting a condo remodel or changing your condo coverage.

Insurance considerations for condo renovations

Chances are your coverage needs will change as you make condo renovations. Here are a few suggestions to help make sure your rapidly changing place has protection to keep up.

Increase dwelling coverage

No matter what alterations you make to your place, you can usually count on sinking a pretty penny into them. Even a run-of-the-mill kitchen remodel can easily run into thousands of dollars. That's all the more reason to protect your investment from disaster.

A pricy renovation will probably raise the overall rebuilding cost of your condo, so you might want to reexamine your dwelling insurance limits. If your place were ever totally destroyed, you'd want enough coverage to get it back to its former condition.

It's typically best to make these coverage changes before your remodeling is done; things can just as easily go wrong during construction as they can after it.

Increase personal liability coverage before renovating

Many DIY renovations require help. So, naturally, you bring in a bunch of family, friends, or (gulp) friends of friends to pitch in. But what happens if they get injured? You might tell people to avoid that tricky spot on the balcony or creaky staircase. But if they go for it anyway and wind up hurt, they might stick you with the medical bills. Having extra liability insurance on your condo coverage can prove very handy precisely when your buddies prove not to be.

Investigate your contractors

Dependable home designers will have contractor insurance for themselves plus workers' comp. or liability coverage for all of the subcontractors used on your condo remodel (plumbers, electricians, etc.). If subcontractors are injured on the job, they may try to sue you, and you don't want to be left unprotected.

You should be able to view this contractor insurance in writing and have it verified. If subcontractors don't fall under your main contractor's insurance (as is sometimes the case with part-time laborers), that may be another reason to boost your own liability coverage.

Make sure you have enough contents insurance

Some condo renovations lead to new rooms or expansions — which you might fill with new furniture, electronics, or decorations. If you go a little purchase-happy, make sure you adjust your contents insurance to cover all your belongings. Similarly, if you need to put things in storage to make room for your condo remodel, you'll want to double-check that your stuff is still covered. You'd hate for a fire or burglary in the storage facility to leave you with less than you started with.

Explore condo insurance savings

Have your condo renovations raised your condo coverage premium? Don't worry — there are plenty of ways to save. Taking on a higher deductible, for instance, can often mean a lower monthly rate. And while you have the old sledgehammer and power drill out, you can always add valuable safety features like sprinklers, security alarms, smoke detectors, and deadbolts to score a potential discount.

Get condo insurance help before you renovate

If you're planning on doing a condo remodel, it pays to get in touch with your insurer before that first swing of the hammer. Together, you can go over the alterations you plan to make (and who's going to make them), and tweak your condo coverage accordingly.

Give us a call anytime at 1-800-378-7262 to inquire about renovations to your condo or to simply get help reviewing your policy.

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Home renovations and your homeowners insurance
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