Due to the increased amount of time spent at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, a substantial number of us noticed our worn flooring, tired appliances and worn-out cabinets and decided to make improvements. Remote learning spaces for students, office space for at-home work, and even additions to homes were created during the pandemic. While “stuck” at home, people decided to get busy and upgrade, improve, expand, renovate, or build out. If you remodeled your kitchen significantly with granite countertops and a new double oven or added a bathroom with a garden tub to your floor plan, you increased the value of your home. Did you build a deck with an arbor off the back porch or install an outside kitchen? Maybe you decided to put in a swimming pool or hot tub. If you took in your garage and turned it into a game room, you improved your home and should discuss those changes with your agent and together reassess your insurance needs.
Typically, people do not think to reach out to their insurance agent when remodeling at home – and most don’t. But your insurance coverage should reflect your home’s updated value. During that conversation it is also a suitable time to make certain your home is covered at its replacement cost. If you have made significant changes to your home since your insurance coverage was put in place, those changes must be taken into consideration when valuing your home. If faced with a total loss claim scenario, you want to be insured for the cost it would require to rebuild your house. We have all seen the rise in cost of building materials and labor over the past year, so this is a crucial time for that phone call to your agent. Also, if you bought brand new appliances for your kitchen remodel, discuss with your agent the possibility of adding equipment breakdown coverage. If you added a central AC unit or new water heaters, this type of coverage can potentially come into play if any of those systems or appliances were to fail in your home.
Another thing people changed during the pandemic was their work location as they no longer report to an office but work from home instead. Have you started your own new business working out of your home? Are you storing business inventory inside your home? Are people coming in and out of your home due to your business operations? If so, you may be open to financial risk, which is not covered under a standard homeowner policy. Professionals working from home need liability insurance for protection from a potential claim based on negligence or failure to deliver. You may need professional liability insurance if you are a consultant or professional with a home-based business. Discuss with your agent the possibility of adding home-based business coverage as well as cyber coverage in case your home network is compromised.
The changes we make in and to our homes may reflect changes needed in our insurance. Give your agent a call to discuss your options to secure the best coverage for home and work. Our agency provides wonderful customer service to all North Texas and would love to earn your business and your trust. Our area is growing rapidly, and we are here to serve you.