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4 Insurances Every Renovation Project Needs

When you’re planning a home renovation, or building an addition to your home, don’t forget about insurance.  There are three  insurances you need to check before starting the work, and one after the work is complete.

1. Builder or Contractor Liability Insurance

If you are hiring a builder or contractor to do the renovation or remodeling work, make sure they have liability insurance.  In case of an accident or damage, the contractor’s liability insurance is there to cover the cost of the damage.  If you are acting as the general contractor and hiring all of the individual trades, such as the plumber, electrician, etc., then you need to obtain a liability insurance policy from each of them to ensure you are protected, otherwise you will be calling your insurance company to make a claim.

2. WSIB Insurance

Workers Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) insurance covers injury to workers while they are on the jobsite.  WSIB pays the workers wages, and provides rehabilitation, if they get injured on the job.  Workers collecting WSIB benefits are not able to sue others for damages, which a significant protection for the employer and the homeowner.  WSIB coverage is mandatory in the construction industry, except for individual contractors that do not employ others.  Ask for a WSIB clearance certificate from your general contractor, and if you are hiring individual trades, get clearance certificates from every contractor.

3. Home Insurance during renovations

Check with your home insurance provider to make sure you are adequately covered during your home addition or renovation project.  Some insurers have reduced coverage if you are not living in the home, and some will not provide insurance during a major home renovation or house addition project.  In this case, you may need to find another insurance provider.  Many of our clients have had this issue – don’t assume you are covered – call your insurance, tell them what you are planning to do, and make sure your insurance coverage will apply.

Secondly, make sure that any value that is added during the project is insured.  This is especially important for a house addition project that is increasing the size of the home.  Insurance coverage needs to be in place before the project is started.

4. Home Insurance after completion

Imagine having a flood in your newly finished basement, and finding out your house insurance is based on an unfinished basement.  It is critical to review your insurance policy with your insurance provider after your project is complete, to make sure you are covered for any additional space you have added to your home, and any additional value you have added to the home.

These insurances are important to consider regardless of who is doing the work – a general contractor, you acting as the general contractor and hiring trades, or you doing the work yourself.  Consider the project, who is doing the work, and figure out what insurance you need.

Your Turn

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