Planning a home improvement project?

Whether you’re planning on a quick touch-up to your unfinished basement or building your dream patio, here’s what you need to know about how your home insurance might be affected by your home improvement projects. 

Do I need to notify my insurance broker about my renovations?

If you’re planning any home renovation that exceeds $5,000, then yes. Most policies require that you disclose home improvements to your broker to maintain specific provisions under your policy. Plus, certain types of home improvements (like adding a backyard pool) might increase the replacement cost of your home or add an element of risk to your rates, so it’s best to keep your insurance broker up to date with whatever renovations or home improvements you plan on doing before you crack open that toolbox. 

Will notifying my broker increase my rates?

Not necessarily. Depending on the nature of your home improvement project, it’s possible your rates might go down. 

For example, reroofing your old shingles. A new overlay will help your roof withstand Newfoundland weather. Plus, this preventative step reduces any risk of future weather damage, thus resulting in a lower rate.

Common renovations that may lower your rates:

  • Home smart device installation 
  • Sewer backup valve installation 
  • Centrally monitored fire alarm system installation 
  • Plumbing upgrades
  • Electrical upgrades
  • Roof repair and replacement

We get that no one wants to increase their home insurance cost. But the increase in rates makes a certain amount of sense. After all, you’ll want to make sure that all your improvements are properly included when evaluating the replacement cost of your home.

Common renovations that may increase your rates:

  • Hot tubs and pools
  • Home-based business space
  • Adding square footage to your home

Am I covered during renovations?

That depends on the extent of your home improvements. Major structural changes may require you to temporarily switch your policy from standard home coverage to “building under construction”. But even if it’s straightforward roof repairs or new window installations, many policies have a clause that eliminates coverage protections should you undertake an undisclosed home improvement project. Put another way: if you have to file a claim related to any unreported renovation, there’s a chance it might be denied. 

Get in touch. 

Before you start your home improvement project, be sure to call your insurance broker and confirm if your policy needs updating. Even if your improvements increase your rates, it’s always best to stay on the safe side throughout the entire process. 

Call your local Steers broker at 1-877-478-3377 today to find out how your choices will impact the value of your home and your home insurance coverage.