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Renovations: Should you call your insurer?

Renovating? Are you planning on notifying your insurer? Here are a few details taken from La Capitale's blog that will help you decide whether you should notify your insurer, and why!

Why should you adjust your insurance during renovations?

Normally, home insurance covers your residence according to its existing features. When you ask for a home insurance quote, your insurance representative will ask you a number of questions. These questions aim to:

  • Determine required coverages based on the specifics of your home (type of material used, number of floors, whether there is an extension or attached garage, etc.)
  • Evaluate risks for bodily injury or property damage that can occur in your residence. (For example, if you have a finished basement, your insurer will consider that you have a higher risk of incurring material losses in the event of water seepage than if your basement was not finished. The insurer will recommend adding additional coverage to adequately cover your property)
  • Assess the cost of rebuilding your residence so that you are guaranteed an amount that would cover the cost of rebuilding your home using materials of the same quality if it is destroyed by a major occurrence.

In order for insurers to offer you the right coverage, it's imperative to let them know if you're having work done that might require an adjustment to your home insurance coverage or the value of your residence.

Renovation work that you must inform your insurer about

The Insurance Bureau of Canada recommends notifying your insurer no matter what kind of renovation work you do to your home. This recommendation especially applies to renovation work that:

  • Increases the cost of rebuilding your residence, so that your insurer can adjust your coverage amount.. Here are a few examples of renovations that modify the cost of reconstruction:
    • Adding a floor
    • Building an extension
    • Finishing the basement
  • Results in reduced risk of damage for your home(which could result in a premium reduction or upgrade to your coverage). If you're having this kind of renovation done, your insurer will update your file and adjust your coverages so they are tailored to your needs. Here are a few examples of renovations that reduce the risk of damage to your residence:
    • Upgrading your plumbing or electric wiring if they were outdated
    • Replacing your roofing surface
    • Replacing your water heater
    • Installation of a theft prevention or water leak detection system

Renovation work that can be done without advising your insurer

If you're having repairs or work done that are considered maintenance and are meant to enhance the appearance of your home without reducing the risk for damage, there is no need to call your insurer. Here are a few examples of aesthetic or maintenance work:

  • Renovating the bathroom
  • Installing ceramic tiles or painting the walls
  • Repairing or replacing a damaged surface using similar materials

Not sure how the renovation work might affect you? Don't take a chance. Call your insurer to avoid any potential problems in the event of a loss!

For more advice on hassle-free renovations, visit La Capitale's blog!

Happy renovating!

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