Going to tackle that home project yourself? Things you should know about your homeowners insurance before you start
As people across the country are spending more time at home, many are turning to DIY (do it yourself) home projects to spruce up their spaces. While home renovations come with numerous benefits, there are still some factors to consider before taking on home improvement projects yourself. Smaller projects like painting or simple landscaping may not need to be brought to your agent’s attention. However, if you choose to partake in a larger home renovation project like refurbishing your bathroom or building your own deck you should contact your agent to review your home insurance policy.
If you’re thinking about tackling your own home improvement project, here are some things you should consider before you get started.
The time commitment
Plain and simple: do you have the time to focus on remodeling? From purchasing needed supplies and equipment to performing the actual work, a remodeling project can easily consume several days or even weeks. Try to be realistic with your goals, timeline, and the finished outcome.
You should take pictures of everything
Take before and after pictures of everything. Check in with your insurance agent again when the project is finished and make sure they know about any major changes to the home. It’s always good for your insurer to have pictures of any major updates. It can help in the case of a claim as well. If the insurer has on record that you had ceramic tiles and basic appliances in your kitchen, but then you upgraded to all granite countertops and top of the line appliances the insurance company may need that information to update your amount of coverage in case of a loss.
Let’s face it, many accidents can happen when doing a home renovation on your own — and for a beginner, the risk only increases. You could hit a pipe while installing a kitchen sink, break a wall while hanging new art, or start a fire while putting in new lights. If you are the one who created the mishap, it will likely be your responsibility to cover the accident and ensure you have the proper insurance in place.
Speaking of accidents…
Should a family member or friend be injured while helping out with the renovations, you could be held liable and left to pay any medical or long term care bills. You can increase your personal liability on your homeowners policy, and adding an umbrella policy can pick up the bills where your home insurance policy leaves off.
You might want to pros to handle appliances
If you install a new appliance yourself incorrectly and it breaks you may be out what you just spent on it. However, if a professional installs your dishwasher incorrectly, their company’s insurance will usually cover the cost to replace it and any damage that comes with it.
Your building materials may not be covered
A standard homeowners policy may not cover building materials like wood, paint and tools. If they should be stolen or destroyed they may not be covered. If you’re doing a major renovation, talk with your insurer about whether or not you’ll need a renovation or builders risk insurance policy.
The good news
Most small projects are typically fine to do on your own if you’re comfortable, and doing a lot of your own home upgrades can be rewarding, leaving you with a great sense of satisfaction and accomplishment. Also, thanks to social media and the internet home improvement tutorials are readily available. From retiling your bathroom floor to painting new cabinets there is a video for just about any home improvement project.
Before you start that home project, our team at Bearingstar recommends you contact your agent about what your policy will cover. Having sufficient homeowners insurance coverage in place will help protect you and your home against any mishaps that even the smallest renovation project might face. Have more questions? Contact us today!