Like millions of Americans, you may want to consider undertaking a home renovation project this coming year. Whether this means a complete overhaul of your second story or a simple bathroom renovation, your current Oklahoma Home Insurance may not cover your planned project. Before you start breaking out the toolbox, get in contact with your insurance company to find out what kind of coverage you should purchase.
Talking to Your Insurance Company
Your home insurance provider will want to know the extent of your planned remodel. A small, DIY project like adding a breakfast bar or re-tiling the kitchen floor may not change your insurance premium, but a larger project such a bedroom or deck addition will almost certainly require more coverage. Talking to your insurance company before you get started will give you an idea of how much your premium may increase so that you don’t have any surprises on your next bill.
If you plan to do the renovations yourself, the only additional coverage you are likely to need for the duration of the project is general liability. This liability coverage will protect you in case you make a mistake that leads to damage to your home, or if your materials are stolen or damaged. You can also rest easy knowing that when your father has to make a run to the emergency room because you accidentally drove a nail through his hand at your work site, your liability policy will cover his medical bills as well.
Between DIY homeowners and contractors, there is a group of subcontractors that you may choose to hire. Usually, the general contractor at a job site will hire subcontractors in addition to ordering materials, making the plans, and seeing that the work is done properly. You can choose to be your own general contractor if you want to have a more active part in your renovation, but don’t want to do the dirty work. When you hire subcontractors, you may need to purchase worker’s compensation if the subcontractors don’t carry their own. Worker’s comp covers medical bills and lost wages in case a worker gets injured on the job. Without this coverage, you are opening yourself up to a lawsuit in the event of an injury.
If you perhaps want a new kitchen or a porch that faces west instead of east, you can choose to hire a general contractor. You will still likely need to increase your liability coverage on your home, but the general contractor should carry worker’s comp for his employees. When hiring a contractor, he should first and foremost be licensed in your state. If he is licensed, then he is probably insured as well; but you should never hesitate to ask for his insurance information before you hire him. Most contractors carry worker’s comp, a general liability which covers damages and injuries because of the contractor’s or workers’ faults, and a builder’s risk coverage that covers damage to the home and materials due to natural causes such as flood or high winds, or theft.
Now that you know about the insurance coverage you will need for your home remodel project, give us a call to talk with an agent. We can let you know exactly how much coverage you need. You may also qualify for a discount if your project makes your home safer by updating wiring, plumbing, or roofing. Installing smoke detectors and burglar alarms may also get you a discount. Also, remember to keep all your records and receipts once you get started, just in case. Hopefully your project goes smoothly, but if it doesn’t, you’ll be glad you were insured from the beginning.