If you’re planning on remodeling your home, insurance policies aren’t usually on top of your to-do list. Instead, you’re probably more concerned with paint swatches, contractor bids, and hardware store shopping lists. But it pays to begin your home improvement project with a solid foundation. Get in touch with the pros at Killingbeck Insurance and Tax Preparation, and we’ll work with you to hammer out an ideal protection plan to help keep you covered, from the ‘before’ all the way through to the ‘after.’
Hiring a Contractor
Remodeling your home is an exciting and momentous undertaking, and hiring a construction contractor can definitely help, but before you do it’s important to check out the company’s insurance policy first.
What does hiring a contractor have to do with your insurance? Quite a lot, actually. If the company you hire doesn’t have adequate insurance protection in place and one of the workers gets injured on your property, they could end up suing you.
To ensure that you are protected if such a situation should arise, be sure to only hire a licensed and bonded contractor. Insist on seeing the company’s insurance policy personally, so you can make sure that it is valid and that the limits are adequate. Additionally, you should contact the Indiana Labor & Industries Department to confirm the contractor’s licensing status.
There are three essential components to a valid contractor’s insurance policy:
- Workers Compensation – When an employee or sub-contractor gets injured on the job, worker’s comp covers medical expenses and lost wages for that individual. If the company’s limits are inadequate, the employee may sue the owner of the property where the injury occurred.
- General Liability – Covers cases of negligence caused by the contractor which result in injury or property damage.
- Builder’s Risk – Covers damage to your personal property and possessions, including materials that haven’t been installed yet.
Acting as your own General Contractor? Beware – the risks may be greater than the savings.
If you make the decision to act as your own general contractor and hire sub-contractors to work on your property, you may be putting yourself in a position to be sued if a worker is injured on the job. And while your homeowners insurance policy may provide a limited amount of coverage, in all likelihood it will not be enough to cover your assets in the event that you are sued for liability and medical costs.
In most cases, your do-it-yourself home improvement project will be covered under your homeowners insurance policy, whether you do the work personally or hire a contractor to do the job. However, the perils covered by a homeowners policy must be of a sudden, accidental nature to qualify.
Workers compensation is not required by law in many states, but if you are acting as your own general contractor and hiring people to work on your property, Killingbeck Insurance & Tax Preparation strongly encourages you to consider purchasing this type of coverage for your own protection. Contact us today and we can help you make the important decisions about these complicated issues.
Taking these matters into consideration, you may be better off by hiring a licensed and bonded contractor who has the proper insurance and experience to handle a home remodeling job. It may save you a lot of unnecessary worries, hassles and stress in the long-run.
Major Remodel? Insure the ‘after’ before it’s too late.
If you’re planning a major remodeling job on your house, be sure to not leave your homeowner’s policy in the past. Call Killingbeck Insurance & Tax Preparation and let us know about the scale of remodel you’re planning.
If you’ve added a major addition like a new deck or significant upgrade to your home, the replacement value may now be substantially greater than it was before. If this is the case, your homeowner’s policy limits might not be enough to cover your house in the event of a total loss. Additionally, if you have an extended replacement coverage endorsement, your policy contract requires you to inform your insurance provider of any major change in value (usually $5,000 or more). Finally, if you bought any new furniture or electronics for your home, be sure to adjust the personal property limits on your homeowners policy accordingly.
It is important not to wait until all the work is done to do these things. During the building phase, you will likely have a number of valuable supplies stored on your property. If these materials are stolen or destroyed before the construction is complete, your coverage may not be enough to cover the loss. Don’t let your new remodel be ruined by unforeseen circumstances – contact Killingbeck Insurance & Tax Preparation before the ‘after,’ and get the peace of mind you deserve.
How certain remodels can save you money on your homeowners insurance
If you’ve recently done a major remodel that included updating your plumbing, heating, electrical, roof, security system, or other features that improve the safety of your home, give us a call at (765) 452-8000 and let us know – you may qualify for a new discount on your homeowners policy!