It’s an understatement to say that home renovations are exhausting. Aside from the overwhelming amount of work, the demolitions, foundation replacements, plumbing, insulation, and whatnot, it’s also quite draining emotionally. You get stressed over the constant noise and mess at your personal space, not to mention the construction delays.
Perhaps the biggest source of frustrations in home renovations are the unexpected expenses. This might be the case if you find out that your insurance doesn’t cover the changes you made. To avoid this sticky situation, here are some things to keep in mind when renovating so as not to invalidate your policy:
Secure the Property During Renovation
This is important for everyone’s safety, but it’s also crucial for avoiding sudden home renovation costs. The simple truth is, renovations pose a great risk of injury to your home and its contents. Several workers are in and out of your home. They use sharp tools, power equipment, and flammable materials. At the same time, unoccupied homes that are under renovation are an easy target for vandalism.
If your property suffers extensive damage from these, your insurance may not be high enough to cover the cost. That’s why it’s crucial to secure the property during renovation. More importantly, keep the insurance company informed, so you can ensure that you have adequate coverage.
Do Your Research before Renting a Room
Most people add a few more square meters to accommodate one more room for their future child or for in-laws who visit every now and then. You may have a different idea: You want it to be an income suite to get back some of those home renovation expenses. It’s a good business idea, but it can affect your insurance policy.
Rented rooms are just as big of a risk as major home renovations. In the eyes of insurance companies, you’re opening doors to someone you don’t know fully. So if you don’t want your insurance to be void, make sure to change your insurance type before you offer a room for rent.
Keep Security Measures up to Date
When applying for home insurance, you have to inform insurers of the security of your home, including doors, locks, and alarms. Changes in these aspects, such as getting a new lock or changing your front door, may affect your financial protection. If they make your home vulnerable to burglary and trespasses, your insurance may be void. On the flip side, if such a change is deemed to improve your security, you might be eligible for cheaper premiums.
Strive for Simplicity in Your Interiors
Since you’re already spending money and doing messy work, you probably feel like it’s worth splurging on the home improvements. You buy that very expensive artwork from Berlin, that antique copper bathtub, and lots of high-end amenities and finishes. These things increase the value of your home and will be more costly to replace, if ever. Your existing insurance policy may not cover that much, so you may find yourself in a money pit later if ever untoward incidents happen.
There are two ways to go about this. You either simplify your interiors (and avoid maxing out your home renovation loan) or take out a new insurance policy that covers valuable items. Either way, talk to your insurer whenever you make significant upgrades in your home.
Think Twice about the Dog Flap
Perhaps part of your home renovation plan is to make it easy for your furry friends to go in and out of your space. As a loving pet parent, you want them to live as free as possible, so you’re thinking of installing a dog flap on your backyard doors. This could be bad news for your insurance policy.
Insurers consider this tiny detail as a security threat. It makes your house vulnerable to burglars. In the event that you make a claim in the future, you might realize that your policy is void because of this. Inform your insurer if you want to install pet doors, to know if you will need to pay a higher premium.
The worst kind of unexpected costs in renovations are those that you mistakenly assume to be covered. Avoid getting the shock of your life by talking to your insurer about renovation plans.