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Spring Time is Renovation Time

Spring is in full swing – and so are home renovations. Just head to any of the big hardware depot stores and try to find parking; Canadians love to renovate – time for a basement makeover! Second only to bathroom makeovers, the basement is a popular home project this time of year.

Whether the makeover is to ready the house to sell, a place to play for the kids or it is for your own place to entertain the grown-ups, the basement not only adds more space to the living area, but big value to your home  and a great return on your investment. There are a few things to consider before you start your renovation plans – especially when it comes to home insurance.

Tell Your Insurance Provider

The first step in your renovation plan is to call your insurance provider and ensure that you are covered during and long after your project is complete. Depending on the size of the project, you may need to change your current policy. Generally, if you are doing structural changes or adding to the footprint of your building you will need to call your broker.

Ensure All Contractors Have Liability Insurance

It is very important to ensure any contractor working on your renovation has their own liability insurance before they begin work on your home. You can ask them for a “certificate of insurance, which should include the following:

  • General liability insurance
  • Minimum coverage of $2 million
  • Includes coverage in the event of damage to your home or neighbouring properties as a result of renovation activity
  • Includes coverage for bodily injury caused to a third party
  • The expiry date of the policy

You should also ask for proof of workers’ compensation for employees of the renovating/contractor company

The Do-It-Yourself Renovation

If you plan to do some or all of your renovations, or if you are acting as general contractor on the project, you need to check with your provider as there may be exclusions in your policy related to liability. You may need additional coverage during your renovation project.

Water Damage

Prevent water damage when renovating.

  • Ensure any previous water damage is taken care of and your space is properly dried out before you begin new renovations
  • Check for any cracks in the walls or floors that could allow water or moisture to get in—then have your basement waterproofed if need be
  • Divert water away from the foundation of your home
  • Ensure your gutters are free of debris
  • Make sure your sump pump is in working order
  • Look for manufacturer-recommended flooring for below-grade installation
  • If you’re installing carpet, easily-removable rubberized-backing may ease additional concerns

For more information, the Canadian Home Builders Association is a great resource providing home owners with information on the right insurance coverage you should be looking for. Or call us at McDougall Insurance & Financial at 1-800-361-0941 and we would be happy to help.



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