My recent post regarding the addition of photovoltaic panels to my roof kicked off a thought in my head (or actually a comment from my dear mother started this thought train) – if you undertake a serious upgrade around your home, are you covered when it comes to your homeowners insurance policy?
I didn’t immediately know the answer so I reached out to my agent for some insights. There’s no one-answer-fits-all but…did you realize that Insurance companies look at the dwelling from basically just a total coverage perspective? Think what’s the cost to replace everything in the event of a total loss, like a fire. And this total coverage is weighted not only on size of the home, but the fit- and finish-out of the “big ticket” rooms, namely kitchen and the bathrooms.
Image courtesy of Poggenpohl
So….if you are replacing windows or a new garage door it appears logical that the existing insurance coverage would cover them. Replacing a tired kitchen with a new one and not dramatically changing the quality of the fit-out? Probably covered, but check anyway. Replacing your 1970’s kitchen and builder-grade appliances with oceans of granite and top-shelf appliances? I’d encourage the wise decision to make sure you’re covered and if not, up your coverage as needed.
Going back to my solar panels…which I’ve decided not to add anyway. If I did upgrade my house and add them I’d definitely make sure they are covered and if not, add coverage. It would stand to reason that until the majority of houses have solar panels, they are not part of a regular fit-out. I’d hate to lose them in event of a catastrophe and then find out it’s up to me to pay for their replacement.
If you are upgrading your home it is always a good idea to have a chat with your agent to see what if any increases in coverage you may need. In some cases the current coverage is sufficient and in others they may advise to increase the dwelling coverage amount by x amount of dollars to cover the improvements. I’m not an insurance agent, not pretending to be an insurance agent, so seek the council of your agent if you have any questions.
This post was originally written before re-branding as Eckxstudio for Modern Architecture at the end of 2017.
At Eckxstudio for Modern Architecture, we design unique and stunning projects, individually crafted for our clients’ lives. We’re passionate about listening to your needs, wants and desires as inspiration to design the dream home you’ll never want to leave.