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by Treva Cassidy, ACSR, CISR on May 20, 2016

Finally Spring is here and with the nice weather brings the opportunity to complete home projects and renovations. Have you considered how your bathroom or kitchen upgrade will affect your home insurance? First let's discuss the difference between a home update vs. an upgrade.

We know our customers take great pride in their homes and keep them in top condition. Part of this includes updating the home and keeping it safe and preventing possible conditions that may contribute to insurance losses. A few examples of home updates are replacing your roof with the same quality materials, replacing your windows, repainting, replacing your carpeting or updating your electrical system, heating system etc. Generally, these types of renovations do not affect the insurance value of the home because they considered maintenance updating and should be done as part of the care of your home.

Upgrading renovations are different. When we upgrade our homes we are doing things such as adding square footage, building a garage, upgrading your kitchen from a standard kitchen to a custom kitchen and changing your flooring from carpet to hardwood. Many people also upgrade by adding bathrooms or adding home systems such as central air. These types of renovations will affect your insurance rebuilding cost and thus you may need to check if you need to increase your insurance coverage to accommodate your upgrades.

There are also some other considerations when making changes to your home. If you are planning on a major home renovation project and will not be living in your home during the process, you may actually void your insurance coverage! If your home is under renovation and not occupied you will need to look into vacant home renovation coverage or builder's risk insurance. In MA, your home policy contract has a clause that lists restrictions on coverages for vandalism, lighting and fire for homes that are vacant after 30 and 60 days! Since the consequences are serious, it is best to check with your insurance company before you move out rather than find out the hard way that a claim will not be covered because the home is not occupied! You will also want to find out if your policy will cover building materials that are kept on site or if you need to add a coverage rider for the materials.

Remember to give us a call anytime you have questions or concerns on your insurance. As your agent it's our job to review your insurance coverage with you and help determine the proper amount of insurance to carry on your home!

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