As a homeowner, it seems there is an endless list of updates and renovations you could do to your home! Some are a matter of personal preference and adjusting your home to fit your lifestyle better, whereas some updates are purely necessary. What is often overlooked as these renovations are being planned for is the way that it may affect your insurance rates. The last thing you would want to do is upgrade your home’s value, but not your insurance coverage, and then leave yourself vulnerable to losses down the road.
Here are some common home upgrades and renovations that can have an impact on your homeowners’ insurance:
- Updating the kitchen. This is one of the most common upgrades to a home! And for good reason: the kitchen is the heart of the home, and a space worth investing in. Just be sure that your insurance policy is upgraded as well! You wouldn’t want to wait to realize that your new granite countertops aren’t covered until after a disaster strikes.
- Adding a home office. Especially in recent times, this has been a popular home upgrade! Many of my client’s have this as one of their top priorities when looking to “unlock new doors”. The effects this may have on insurance policies is totally situational. Will your home office increase the foot traffic in your home with clients? Will you have expensive equipment that will need to be covered by your policy? If all you need is a computer, it is likely that your insurance rates will not be affected.
- Installing a pool. Okay, who wouldn’t love to have their own pool in the backyard? Especially on these toasty summer days, I’m sure many of you have tossed the idea around. Before you take the plunge, you may want to look into liability coverage. Usually, building a fence around the pool can help keep these rates manageable!
- Re-roofing. This one can actually help you qualify for discounts on your insurance! Keeping your roof maintained can help protect your home against wind, rain, and hail damage, which can definitely work in your favor when adjusting your homeowners’ insurance rates.
- Finishing the basement. Most homeowners’ insurance policies don’t cover flood damages. As this is a common risk with basements, it may be wise to make sure this is covered in the case of an emergency.
- Remodeling the bathroom. Similar to updating your kitchen, doing a bathroom remodel will increase the value of your home as a whole. Better to be safe than sorry if you find yourself needing insurance to cover damage costs!
- Adding a deck. Although it will upgrade the overall value of your home (and the value of your outdoor living!), it also adds some level of risk, especially if the deck is not ground level. A quick check with your insurance agent may be helpful before you start driving nails into boards!
- Upgrading your security system. Finally, another upgrade that can lower the cost of your homeowners’ insurance! On top of preventing damage to your home and discouraging burglary, it can also help you retain a claim-free discount. Not to mention your own peace of mind!
Other renovations that might affect your insurance would be fireplaces, new windows, and lots more. Of course, the best way to make sure that you are educated and up-to-speed on your homeowners’ insurance is to talk to your insurance agent about your specific situation. No two homes are alike, and my desire is to offer information and resources that best equips your family to find the insurance solution that fits you best. I love walking through the home-owning process with my clients, and I’m always here if you need advice!