Some remodeling projects require insurance protection. It is critical to have enough coverage before you do any work, so consider these five main steps first:
1. Consult your insurance agent before anything else
- Ask if it is necessary to break down any remodeling you do so that it becomes part of the home insurance, and have the agent check to see if you have enough coverage to start the project.
- If you're getting help from friends and family, make sure you have the necessary coverage in case of injury.
- If your remodeling project is more complicated, consider a builder's risk policy, which usually provides additional coverage against unforeseen events during construction, such as rain damage, theft of materials, vandalism, and so on.
2. Verify that your contractor has adequate insurance
- Ask the contractor for their copies of insurance policies. You must have liability and business insurance for the company, as well as workers' compensation insurance for your employees. This is very important so that you are not involved in a lawsuit.
3. Keep receipts and invoices
- Take pictures before, during and after the process, so that you have a file of the work done.
- Keep copies of all documents you sign with the contractor such as quotes, invoices, and receipts for materials purchased for the job.
4. Update your insurance coverage after the remodel
- Your insurer must be aware of the action and changes that were made. You may also need to increase the amount of coverage you have in case something happens and you need to rebuild your home. Have supporting documents (invoices, quotes, receipts, photos) ready in case you are asked to make changes.
- Ask about any discounts available through the remodel. For example, you may receive a 5 percent discount if you replace doors and windows with more disaster-resistant ones. Other companies give up to 15 to 20 percent for installing automatic water sprinkler firefighting systems.
5. Seek help from professionals
But if you've never done any remodeling work, it's best to call in the experts you may need include plumbers, carpenters, painters, electricians, bricklayers, or floor and carpet installers.
When you decide who to call, ask for quotes and ask if they are licensed to do the type of work you need. Also make sure everything is in writing, including the cost of materials and labor, as well as the estimated time to finish the job.