SEATTLE - During the summer months many homeowners and business
owners rush to complete "do-it-yourself" home or office
improvement projects including remodels and additions. The time
pressure created by a short season of good weather can present
a temptation to cut corners and go with a "good enough"
approach to building codes.
NW Insurance Council
encourages homeowners and business owners to protect their homes,
families and business by following all local and state building
codes while working on improvement projects.
"Building codes save lives," said Karl Newman, NW Insurance
Council president. "While it may sometimes seem like a hassle,
getting the right permits, following building codes and updating
your insurance coverage helps protect you, your family and your
investment in your property."
Cutting corners or allowing un-permitted work puts your family,
workers and neighbors at risk and can lead to fires, water damage
and unecessary Homeowners
Insurance and Business
If you're looking to sell your home or commercial property,
faulty work can reduce its value as potential buyers may find
the work unacceptable. Worse yet, if you experience a loss as
a result of an improvement project that didn't meet current
building codes, it could result in nonrenewal of your insurance
policy or a higher insurance premium.
Science Foundation conducted a study on the 2003 Turkey
earthquake that killed 168 people. The study concluded that
many of those deaths could have been prevented had builders
followed Turkey's existing building codes.
By comparison, in December 2007 a powerful windstorm ripped
through Western Washington and Oregon, causing more than 32,000
claims and $165 million in property damage to homes and small
businesses. The December 2006 Hanukkah-Eve windstorm was even
more severe with 57,500 claims and $220 million in damage in
Washington and Oregon. Structural experts say the damage would
have been much greater if homes and businesses weren't built
in compliance with modern building codes.
If you're thinking of starting a home or office improvement
project, NW Insurance Council offers the following key facts
about why it's important to follow building codes:
- Building codes ensure that homes and commercial buildings
are constructed to protect lives, reduce injuries and minimize
- Obtaining a building permit ensures that a certified inspector
can examine your project to verify that it is safe and up
- Building codes can help alleviate costly repairs down the
road as the result of faulty work.
- Building codes protect your investment because they ensure
that electrical, plumbing and structural work is done safely
and inspected by a professional.
- Your improvements also should be included in your insurance
coverage so you will be protected in the event of a fire or
other covered loss. Contact your company or agent to be sure
you have the right coverage for your home or business property.
For more information about Homeowners and Business Insurance,
or call (800) 664-4942.
NW Insurance Council is a nonprofit, public-education organization
funded by member insurance companies serving Washington, Oregon