The cold of winter is finally fading away, leaving the residents of Big Bend to enjoy the mild temperatures and fair weather of spring. During this season, many homeowners will take the opportunity to start outdoor projects to improve their homes. While some homeowners may decide to enhance their home’s curb appeal with new landscaping, others may choose to install a pool or an outdoor kitchen for entertaining.
Regardless of the type of project, you hope to complete this spring; it is always a good idea to make sure your homeowner’s insurance coverage will apply to the resulting structure, especially if you plan to invest a significant amount of time or money.
Homeowner’s Insurance Basics
Many homeowners mistakenly believe that their current homeowner’s insurance policy will cover any changes they make to their home during the spring. However, some types of outdoor projects may not receive coverage under your homeowner’s insurance policy. For example, if your project involves land-based changes, such as fire pits, raised gardens or other types of landscaping, it is unlikely to be covered by your current policy.
Projects that may be covered under your current homeowner’s insurance policy include more permanent structures, such as gazebos, pools, garden sheds, decks, garages, and fences. If the project you plan to complete is covered under your current policy, it will be covered under the part of your policy known as “Coverage B – Other Structures.” To verify that your policy will cover a given project, contact your insurance agent.
Limitations on Coverage
Even if your current home insurance policy covers your project, the coverage you will receive is limited. For example, if the project doesn’t meet the requirements of the insurer, it won’t qualify for coverage. Many insurers impose restrictions on projects that affect underwriting or pose safety concerns, such as outdoor kitchens and pools. Make sure your project complies with these restrictions so you can be guaranteed the coverage you need.
Another type of limitation that applies to all covered spring projects is the limit on the payout in the event of damage or destruction. Most home insurance policies include Coverage A, which applies to your dwelling, and Coverage B, which applies to the other structures on your property. Coverage B limits are usually calculated as a percentage of the limit on Coverage A. In most cases, 10 percent is used, but some insurers may calculate higher or lower limits.
In some cases, you may find that your current home insurance coverage isn’t sufficient to cover the results of the spring project you plan to complete. If this occurs, you can increase your coverage level by asking your insurer to raise your limits. However, this will typically result in a higher premium. Talk to your agent to learn more.
If you are considering a spring project in Big Bend, please contact Smith Insurance and Financial Services today to speak to a qualified agent.