With mild temperatures and favorable weather, spring is the perfect time to begin a new project outside your home. These projects not only enhance your enjoyment of the home, but they may also improve the home’s value. However, before you begin the project, you need to take time to think about the implications this project will have for your current home insurance policy, as well as your future insurance needs. In fact, it may even be wise to have a conversation about the project with your insurance agent before you get started.
Projects that Aren’t Covered
Your existing home insurance policy does not cover certain outdoor projects. For example, most home insurance policies do not cover any projects that affect the land only and don’t involve any permanent structures. Spring projects that may not be covered by your home insurance policy include landscaping, such as plants, trees, and raised gardens. Hardscaping and fire pits are usually excluded from coverage under home insurance policies as well.
Projects that Are Covered
Home insurance policies usually cover projects that involve more permanent, structural changes to your property. Projects that may be covered by a home insurance policy include pools, decks, gazebos, garden sheds, garages, and fences. If you aren’t sure whether your existing insurance policy will cover a project you plan to complete, talk to your agent before you begin.
Understanding Coverage Limits
Home insurance policies include coverage for your home itself, as well as other structures located on the property. The insurance limit that applies to the other structures on your property, which may include the results of a spring project, is usually calculated as 10 percent of the coverage limit that applies to your dwelling. However, some insurers may utilize a different percentage to calculate this limit. To determine exactly how much coverage your policy offers, contact your insurance agent for details.
Purchasing Extra Coverage
Certain expensive outdoor projects may warrant extra insurance coverage. For example, if your home insurance dwelling coverage limit is $150,000, then the coverage available for other structures on the property is equal to $15,000. However, if you install a pool with an expansive deck, $15,000 may not be enough to replace the entire structure if it is destroyed. In such cases, you should inquire about raising your coverage limits.
Adhering to Your Insurer’s Requirements
Certain projects must adhere to the insurer’s requirements in order to qualify for coverage. For example, many insurers have requirements that apply to pools, outdoor kitchens and other structures around your home that may pose safety concerns. Before you complete any of these projects, you should take the time to learn about the insurer’s requirements and make sure your project will satisfy them.
If you are planning to complete a spring project this year, it is best to discuss the implications with your insurer well in advance. To discuss insurance for spring projects, contact Patriot Insurance today.