Many homeowners used “their downtime” in the pandemic to focus on home remodeling. If you were one of those individuals, you might have overlooked an essential aspect of the change in your home. That critical aspect is talking to your insurance agent about adequately insuring your home’s added home value.
However, homeowners need to properly vet contractors to ensure legitimate work is completed on their biggest investment before any remodeling commences.
What Should You Consider Before Hiring A Home Remodeling Contractor
The majority of people will hire a contractor to make upgrades to their home – no matter how little or big. The first key thing in vetting a contractor is determining how reputable they are. Do they have insurance that protects you and your belongings should something arise during the project?
Proper Insurance Policies
You want to ensure that the company or contractor you choose has a valid NY contractor insurance policy. The minimum coverage should be $1 million upwards of $2 million for every situation. It’s not uncommon for unscrupulous contractors to show a lapsed or expired Certificate of Insurance as coverage proof.
Homeowners can ask prospective contractors to be added to their policy as an “additional insured” and show proof of it before any service commitment. A contractor who stalls or refuses to acquiesce to the request should raise a red flag about moving forward with them. Without proper vetting, you could be on the hook for hundreds to thousands of dollars in repairs.
Workers Compensation Insurance
Contractors are required to have a Certificate of Insurance, proof of liability coverage and commercial vehicle insurance coverage. However, New York State contractors must also have workers’ compensation insurance. When it comes to this insurance, it’s not uncommon for subcontractors to be hired in place of employees. Should this be the case for your contractor, the subcontractor must also have the insurance requirement.
If a worker is uninsured, you could be liable for any person or the worker who becomes injured on the property.
Be Wary Of Over-The-Top Offers
Be mindful of deals that lowball competing offers. Lowball offers are used to reel you into a deal that ends up costing you more in the long run. These offers could relate to no contractor insurance, shoddy craftsmanship, poor materials, etc. When it comes to home remodeling projects, a good deal may be too good to be true. It’s prudent to vet the offers from each contractor and realize which ones may be cutting corners at your expense.
Call Your Homeowners Insurance Company
Once the project is complete, reach out to your NY homeowners insurance carrier to ensure proper coverage. If it’s not a home expansion but rather an interior home remodel, it could have increased your home’s square footage cost, and more coverage may be necessary. Any added space to the home will result in an increase in cost. Without a reconstruction cost estimate, homeowners may find themselves underinsured. This could be problematic if your home is deemed a total loss.
Landlords will use contractors to do an interior remodel and understand how important it is to have NY property insurance. A homeowner is not different and should ensure the people working on the home will have proper coverage before beginning a project.
It is always in your best interest to find a contractor who takes pride in their work and holds all the necessary insurance policies to keep you financially safe. By doing so, you can rest assured that your remodeling project will go smoothly. And, if you’re unsure of who the best contractor is in your area, numerous online sites have vetting services that will help you find the right contractor for your project.