Karl Newman, President
Sandi Henke, Communications Director
NW Insurance Council
Phone: (206) 624-3330/(800) 664-4942
Fax: (206) 624-1975
Follow at Twitter/nwinsuranceinfo
and business remodeling: Are you adequately insured?
SEATTLE - Summer is approaching and so are many
home and business remodeling projects. Before sitting back
and enjoying the completed improvements, make sure you have the right
amount and type of insurance to cover your renovated home
A good place to start is to talk with your insurance agent
or company to make sure you are adequately insured and fully
protected against a covered loss. Depending on the addition
or improvement, you may need to increase your level of coverage.
"Some homeowners and business owners may be tempted to save
money by not informing their insurance companies about changes
they've made," said Karl Newman, NW Insurance Council president.
"That approach can have severe financial consequences if you
have a large fire or other major loss. You could find yourself
on the hook for tens of thousands of dollars - all to save
a few dollars in the short run."
NW Insurance Council
Information Institute offer the following tips to help
you adequately insure your remodeled home so you can avoid
some of the common pitfalls of home and business improvement
- If you've recently remodeled your home or built an addition,
contact your agent or company immediately to determine
if you need to increase or change your coverage.
- If you're planning a remodeling project, contact your
agent or company before construction begins. If your new
addition is damaged or destroyed before the new coverage
starts, you may be responsible for the repairs and rebuilding
- If you're planning a do-it-yourself project, make sure
you have sufficient liability protection in case someone
gets injured during the project. Also, only take on remodeling
projects you are qualified to handle.
- For large remodeling projects, consider getting a builder's
risk policy, also known as a "course of construction"
policy. This coverage is available as a stand-alone policy
or as an add-on to your Homeowners policy and generally
protects your home from damage during construction, such
as wind, rain damage or theft.
- If you're hiring a contractor, make sure the contractor
is properly insured, bonded and registered through the
Department of Labor &
Industries. Ask the contractor to show you copies
of the bond. You also can check if the contractor has
any complaints filed against it by looking online.
- Also make sure the company has Workers Compensation
coverage. Ask for a copy of the policy. Workers Compensation
covers medical expenses and lost wages if workers suffer
injuries on the job. A contractor's employees could sue
you if the contractor doesn't have the proper insurance.
- Check references to verify the quality of a contractor's
work. To find a reputable contractor, check with your
local homebuilders association.
- Take photographs before, during and after the renovation
so you have a visual record of work done on your home
or business. Also, keep copies of any contractor contracts
and keep receipts for work done and materials purchased.
- Consider getting more liability protection if you added
a swimming pool or hot tub. You may want to ask your agent
or insurance company about getting an excess or umbrella
liability policy as a cost-effective way to increase your
overall liability protection.
- If you buy additional items such as furniture, exercise
equipment and electronics, you may need to increase your
coverage for personal possessions. Talk with your insurance
agent or company. Keep the receipts, take pictures of
the new items and keep them with your home inventory.
- NW Insurance Council offers free downloadable Home
Inventory Software created by the Insurance Information
For more information about insuring your newly remodeled
home or business, contact NW
Insurance Council or call (800) 664-4942.
The NW Insurance Council is a nonprofit, public-education
organization funded by member insurance companies serving
Washington, Oregon and Idaho.