It seems as though everyone these days is doing some type of home improvement project. However, before you decide to put in a new deck, get a pool installed, or knock down a wall to open up your living room space, you should consult with your Massachusetts home insurance agent. Just like any other type of project, there is a right way and a wrong way to do home remodeling and renovation work. Whether you hire a professional or decide to do part or all of the work yourself, you need to be protected. There are clear advantages to hiring a pro, especially if you take the time to ensure that they are licensed, certified, and insured. All of these things will protect you if things go wrong and will make sure that the work is properly reported and inspected to local authorities.
What Could Go Wrong?
All you want to do is put up a new fence in the backyard to make sure that your kids and pets stay inside when they play. Or maybe you want to upgrade kitchen cabinets, replace living room flooring, or install a shed out back for your gardening equipment. Whatever the project, regardless of the goal, things can go wrong when you do work on your home. Your Fall River insurance agency can guide you through the process of protecting your real estate investment and covering you for certain liabilities. However, the responsibility for making sure that your project is safe and that you are covered is up to you. Your Fall River homeowners insurance policy may or may not cover the work that you are doing, but you can speak with your agent about increasing coverage to suit your needs.
Some of the things that insurance companies hear about with renovation work include:
- contractors who leave behind unfinished work
- work that needs to be re-done because it was done improperly
- remodeling projects that won’t pass inspection
- damage directly caused by work including flooding or fires
- damage caused to a neighbors property as a result of the work
While many Massachusetts home insurance policies will cover some damage caused by a renovation, there are some limits and exceptions that must be considered. Before you hammer a single nail or tear out a tile from your floor, contact your Fall River insurance agency. Let them know what you want to do, how you are going to do it, who is going to do it, and your goals for the space. Even if the work is perfect and gets done without a hitch, your agent needs to know if the project will increase the value of your home. Remodeling a kitchen, adding a bathroom, building an addition, or finishing a basement can all add value that should be accounted for in your policy to protect you if there is future damage.
Contractor and DIY Damage Protection
Here is where things can start to get tricky. If the damage is caused due to work being done by a contractor, the coverage for repairs or replacement should come from the contractor’s insurance policy. If you make a claim to your Fall River insurance agency, they would likely contact the contractor’s insurance company to seek reimbursement on your behalf. This is why you should only hire a contractor who has proper insurance coverage. Different states have different ideas about what is considered “adequate coverage” for contractors, so speak with your agent to find out what you should be looking for in a contractor. Verify the insurance for yourself – don’t just see it on a business card or the side of a truck and take it at face value. Contractors’ insurance should include commercial business, general liability, and workers’ compensation so you can’t be sued if a worker gets injured while working on your home.
If you decide to do a DIY project outside of simply painting a room or changing a lightbulb, you might want to think again. While all of those TV shows depict homeowners picking up hammers and ripping out countertops, not everyone has it in them to do this type of work. Because you are not a contractor and don’t have specialized coverage (or training and experience), you won’t be protected in the same way that a contractor would for doing the same work. If there are issues with the electrical wiring and it causes a fire or problems with the plumbing, and it results in a flood, you could be stuck with a substantial bill to repair the damages and have a professional redo the wiring and plumbing anyway. Navigate all of this with your friendly Fall River Homeowners Insurance agent. A simple call can help you reduce stress, know what is covered, and make an informed decision that will ensure your homeowners insurance policy is there to protect you every step of the way.
Get a FREE Quote!
If you are in the market for Massachusetts home insurance or if you need to update your current Fall River homeowners policy, contact Paul Sullivan Insurance Agency. You can reach our team at 508-678-9611. We make it easy for Southeastern Massachusetts residents to get the homeowners insurance policy coverage they need to protect their real estate investment. We are here to answer any questions you might have and match you with the policy type that you need to protect your family and home.