Here are five 'what ifs' you may need to know BEFORE you begin…
1. What if the project can't be finished? After you’ve selected a GC — but before you sign a contract for the project — be sure the GC is licensed and bonded. If they can’t finish the job for some reason (such as illness or bankruptcy), the bond is intended to provide coverage for financial losses you may incur in getting the job finished. Your contract with the GC also should agree all work that is to be done is in accordance with current building codes and all permits will be obtained.
Request a copy of your contractor's Certificate of Insurance. Check its effective and expiration dates to see if the coverage will be in force the entire time work is being done. Contact the insurance agency that issued the certificate if you have questions about coverage.
2. What if materials or equipment are stolen from my project? In general, building materials and equipment belong to the GC or subcontractors are NOT protected from theft by your homeowner's policy. A Builder's Risk Policy can be tailored to cover any of the contractor's equipment or materials that are left on your property to be installed. EXAMPLE: with the high cost of copper, thieves target construction sites looking for copper plumbing pipe.
You should consider the purchase of a Builders Risk Policy for the length of YOUR renovation project. Be prepared. Determining the proper coverage and policy may require several conversations with your insurance agent as well as lenders, but is well worth the effort.
3. What if a subcontractor gets injured at my home? Confirm if your subcontractors carry Workers’ Compensation coverage of their own or are covered under the GC’s policy. If not and a subcontractor is injured on the job at your home, YOU could liable for injuries!
4. What if policy limits are inadequate? General Liability limits vary, but most GCs carry a $1 million limit. This amount may not be enough to cover damages. As the homeowner, you should consider adding additional limits with the purchase of an umbrella policy.
5. How much more is your home worth AFTER the renovation? Remember to speak with your insurance agent about increasing coverage for the NEW value of your property after it’s been remodeled.
Got questions about your upcoming home renovation project? We're here to help!
Connecticut Insurance Exchange offers a full line of insurance products, including Builder's Risk and Umbrella policies. Contact us at 860 666-5443 or firstname.lastname@example.org to see how we may be able to assist you.