how remodeling your home affects your insurance

You've remodeled your home. The place looks great and has probably gone up in value. End of story? Not quite. Because a remodeling project will likely add value to your home, updating your homeowners insurance is a must. If you don't, your improvements might not be covered if you file a claim.

Though industry experts estimate that a quarter of all remodeling projects increase home values by at least 25 percent, many homeowners don't increase their coverage.

Don't be one of them! Besides calling your homeowners insurance company before you start renovating (if you already renovated, contact them as soon as possible), here are some guidelines to follow.

be proactive

Whether you're making minor kitchen renovations, putting in a swimming pool, or building a front porch, contact your homeowners insurance company before you renovate to stay ahead of the game and plan accordingly.

It's also a good idea to take "before" and "after" photos. If you need to put furniture and other items in storage, make sure those items are still covered by your policy if stored outside your home.

You should also check with your insurance company about your liability coverage. You may need to raise your coverage during the renovation project in the event that someone, even your best friend, gets injured. If you hire a contractor, make sure they carry their own insurance by asking to see their certificate.

determine your home’s value

Be sure to match your property coverage limits to the new value of your home, rather than the mortgage or the renovation cost. A big chunk of the renovation cost may have resulted from tearing down the old structure, which doesn't impact your home's new value.

honesty is your best policy

Home improvements may or may not increase your homeowners insurance coverage. Regardless, it's in your best interest to be upfront with your insurance company.

If you build a deck and someone falls off it, you will likely be denied your claim if you failed to tell your insurance company about the addition. You also run the risk of being dropped by your insurance company.

Besides being honest, experts recommend that you review your homeowners insurance annually to make sure you're adequately covered in the future.

Your home is one of the biggest investments you'll make in your life, so it's no wonder having great homeowners insurance backing up every dollar your place is worth gives you such peace of mind. Speak with our licensed agents or get a homeowners insurance quote online to help secure the reliability and comfort you deserve!

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