From deciding on a scope of work to figuring out a budget, there are several issues every homeowner has to worry about when contemplating a home renovation project. In the haze of planning, it’s crucial to remember to check in with your homeowners insurance agent first! Here are a few tips to keep in mind before beginning any renovation project:

1) Contact your insurance agent first.

One of the first and most important steps to take when planning a home renovation is talking to your insurance agent. They can review your homeowners policy to help you determine how much additional coverage you’ll need based on the size and scope of your renovation plan. Make sure to ask them what your policy covers during the construction process. Depending on the size of the project, you may need to purchase a builder’s risk policy, which will protect your property from accidental damage during the construction period.

2) Find a licensed and insured contractor.

Homeowners are responsible for ensuring that the contractor they choose to work with has both a license to perform the necessary work as well as insurance to cover any construction related incidents. Be sure to ask to see licenses and certificates of insurance before agreeing to work with anyone.

3) Make sure all subcontractors are licensed and insured.

Often times, your contractor will work with a team to finish your renovation. Just because your contractor has the proper credentials, doesn’t mean their subcontractors all do. From electrical to plumbing, you should make sure that the entire team working on your home has the necessary licenses and insurance.

4) Check on zoning and permit regulations.

Before starting construction, homeowners should check with their local building inspectors to ensure that the proposed project meets zoning regulations. Also make sure to ask about necessary permits for items like electrical or plumbing work. Remember, a city inspection is required after any renovation project, so make sure you and your contractor are clear on specific regulations for your neighborhood.

Don’t forget that if you are adding on to your existing property, you are also adding to the value of your home! All of this can be determined upfront, which is why it is so important to check in with your homeowners insurance agent before beginning work. Review any certificates you receive from your contractor or subcontractors with your home insurance agent and ask make sure to ask them whether your contractor needs to add you to their policy as an additional insured. Don’t forget, you should always check in with your agent during constructions for any issues that may arise!

Have more questions? Give HIG a call at 508-676-5949! Being a local Fall River agency, we have access to several companies in the area that can help insure any particular construction project and would be happy to go over your insurance coverage options!