Home and Condo Renovation Tips

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Are you planning to renovate your house or condo this year? Whether you’re looking to take on a minor DIY project or a full renovation of multiple rooms, make sure to consider these important tips to ensure your policy isn’t void during the renovation, and that you have sufficient coverage after the renovation.

  1. Contact your local insurance broker before you begin any demolition or renovationsMany property owners overlook this step in the renovation process: making sure your insurance policy will cover you during a renovation. For example, did you know that many insurance policies do not automatically offer coverage if you’re vacating the residence during renovations?  Did you know that a large renovation may require additional coverage in case of incident? A quick call to your insurance broker will provide you the peace of mind you need to start your project with the proper coverage! 
  2. If you live in a strata property, don’t forget to double check with your strata before starting renovations.This step is crucial if you live in a stratified property, particularly if conducting any renovations that involve plumbing or electrical changes. The strata may require an insured or ticketed tradesperson complete the changes. If you’re changing your flooring (ex. carpet to hardwood) they may require a minimum underlay thickness or other sound insulation be added. While this extra step may seem tedious and time consuming now, it will save you huge headaches in the future! 
  3. Know the cost of your renovations & improvementsDid you know that to ensure full coverage in the event of a claim you need to insure for all unit improvements and betterments you or any previous owners have made? For example, let’s say your unit came with laminate flooring and you upgraded to hardwood floors. A little while later there was a fire that caused damage to the floors. Your insurance policy would only cover you for the original laminate flooring as that is what the building originally came with. To be sure you have coverage you need to advise your insurance broker of the upgrades or custom pieces added and their cost to ensure sufficient Unit Improvements and Betterments coverage.  It is ideal if you can provide receipts for the cost of any upgrades so your insurance broker can assist you in insuring to value. 
  4. Make sure any trades or contractors you hire have liability coverageCompleting a renovation on your home or condo may require multiple trades coming onsite to complete work. Be sure that they have their own liability policy should one of their staff be injured. Additionally, check with your insurance broker to make sure your policy offers sufficient liability coverage in case you are sued for an injury that occurs during the renovation process. 
  5. Advise your insurance broker once your renovations are complete

Be sure to let your insurance broker know once your renovations are complete. This way they can review any coverage changes needed to ensure your newly completed renovations would be covered in the event of a claim. Also, you want to ensure you advise them once your renovation is complete in case you have any vacancy permits or additional coverages added during the course of renovations. Once the renovations are complete these additional coverages can be removed so you don’t continue to pay additional premiums.