Keep Me In The Loop! Why it’s important to share any home improvements with your insurance agent.

By: Denise Koslowsky

2020 has been a crazy year and the pandemic has affected each of us in various ways.  For many of us, it has been a year to make some changes to our lives.  Since it has been a year of such great changes, we felt it was a good time to once again talk about the importance of sharing life changes with your insurance agent.  Things that may seem minor to you can surprisingly have an effect on your insurance portfolio. Waiting could leave your insurance lacking when you need it most.

For example, you need to tell your agent and/or insurance carrier when you are renovating your home or adding an addition or making any other kind of alteration to your house as well as any other permanent structure on your property.

Why You Should Keep Us In The Loop
Renovations and other types of construction projects bring more claims exposure to your home and the property.  This is especially true, if you move out of your home during the project. The insurance companies have a right to amend your policy for the duration of your project.

The Consequences Of Keeping It Quiet
You may be wondering what could happen if you fail to tell your insurance agent or insurance carrier about a home improvement project.  First of all, your insurance coverage is subject to the very stringent wording in your policy contract. This generally includes a special construction deductible of 5% of your dwelling limit, and coverage is capped without guaranteed dwelling replacement coverage. So for a $1,500,000 dwelling the deductible would be a $75,000 deductible instead of perhaps a $10,000 chosen deductible.

The Benefits Of Keeping Us In The Loop
If you tell your agent ahead of time, the chosen deductible applies and coverage is adjusted to reflect the amount of money you are spending on the improvements so that you don’t fall short in coverage. Depending on the size and duration of the project, the company might inspect to help you determine the proper dwelling replacement limit.

We welcome conversations with our clients during the renovation process! It is a great time to talk about adding important safety measures to your home while the walls are already open!  It is a great time to upgrade your security system and install a proper water flow device.  If you are planning or have just made some home improvements, we encourage you to get in touch with us at 914-723-7100. Not only will be help you understand the risks and make sure your coverage is sufficient, we might also be able to offer safety suggestions that can be could offer future cost savings!

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