The insurance pitfalls of Doing-It-Yourself
(NC) Doing-it-yourself renovations are very popular these days, with lots of stores and TV shows dedicated to the subject. Part of the appeal is the promise of saving money and knowing that you did it all on your own. But if you're an absolute beginner, do you really have the know-how to remodel your bathroom, for example? What if something went wrong — or worse — what if you hurt yourself?
Even if you do your own work, you still need to contact your insurance company to ensure you're covered through the project and that your policy is updated accordingly. You don't want to be surprised by a huge increase in your insurance premium if you end up making a mistake. By checking in with your provider, you'll be protected during your project. In some cases, improvements like upgrading the electrical system or replacing a weathered roof may help lower your premiums. However, if the renovation increases the replacement value of the home — for example, with a new addition, or the installation of high-end granite countertops or expensive appliances — the opposite may be true.
D.I.Y — to a pointRemember to keep your pride in check if you start to have problems; it's ok to call in the professionals. In fact, even if you're the handiest person alive with a tool set, using a qualified pro could still save you money. Especially for those home improvements that are most likely to affect the value of your property and the safety of your family and friends, like:
Put your mind at ease by entrusting home repair to certified professionals. You'll receive a guarantee and if complications arise, you'll have legal recourse against the contractor.
While you're at it, ensure you're 100% fire-proof
Take advantage of this renewal time to ensure your house is fire-proof. Ensure your smoke detectors are well located and maintained. Clean them and replace the batteries. Also, consider equipping your home with a fire alarm system connected to a remote monitoring center. Place one or more fire extinguishers in locations that all family members can access easily and be sure you know how to use them properly. To avoid electrical fires, carefully inspect surge protectors, extension cords, lamps and other electrical devices. Anything that rattles, looks frayed or worn should be thrown out.
For more information on how you can protect yourself during your D.I.Y projects, speak to your insurance provider. Or for more immediate answers, check in with the property and casualty experts at Desjardins Insurance by visiting www.desjardinsgeneralinsurance.com.
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