In the wake of the pandemic, many Americans took advantage of low interest rates (and the money they normally spent on entertainment and travel) and made some significant investments into their homes.
By The Numbers:
A recent survey by porch.com revealed that three out of four surveyed homeowners had completed “a major project since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.” The number of homeowners extending or adding additions to their abodes increased by 52%.
Home improvement projects can add to the replacement value of your home. So, if you’ve made any recent updates, you should call your insurance agent. (Seriously, the before and after photos of your new kitchen on Instagram can wait.)
Why is it important to keep my agent in the loop?
Because nobody likes surprises, especially when a claim happens. So, the better information we have on your home, the easier it will be to settle a claim.
When you first request a home insurance quote, the agent gathers a lot of information about your home ‒ things like:
- Square footage
- The number and quality of bathrooms
- Whether there’s a finished basement
- Type and age of roof
- And so on…
They use this to work with you on the right amount of coverage to buy. This is typically an estimate of what it would cost to rebuild your home using the same square footage and materials. When a claim occurs… if you’ve made significant upgrades, there may not be enough coverage to rebuild your home to its current state.
When doing a home improvement project, your agent can work with you to recalculate an estimated cost to rebuild your home and make sure the coverage on the policy is tailored specifically to your needs.
How could this play out in real life?
Let’s say you have a homeowners insurance policy with a coverage amount of $200,000. This is the amount that you and your agent agreed to that reflects the best estimate of what it would take to rebuild your home after a total loss.
Then you finish a portion of your basement for $20,000 ‒ and do not advise your agent. If you were to have a total loss, your $200,000 of coverage was selected with the understanding that your basement was not finished. So when it comes time to rebuild your home, there would only be $200,000 available to rebuild, and that may not be enough to include a finished basement.
Also, some homeowners insurance policies have provisions in them that allow the insurance company to deny or limit coverage for improvements that the insurance company was not made aware of. So it’s always best to be proactive and let your agent know if anything big has changed.
At Jankowski Agency, Inc., our agents are professional insurance counselors. We’re here to help you understand how your homeowners insurance works – and what your options are – so you can feel good about how your home is protected. Learn more about homeowners insurance and call us at (518) 883-3415 or visit our website at https://jankowskiinsurance.com/insurances/home-insurance/ for a free quote.