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Renovations that you should call your insurance broker about

If you’re like many other Canadian homeowners who have recently come out of the pandemic, chances are you have either completed some type of renovation or have something planned in the future. Nearly half of Canadians are reprioritizing their spending, and many are choosing to pay out of pocket. Respondents of a survey conducted by BNN Bloomberg and RATESDOTCA showed that approximately 59% of Canadian’s are choosing to fund renovations themselves, and only 35% contacted their insurance providers.2

With so many pieces in motion – getting contractor quotes, shopping for material or meeting with designers – talking to your insurance broker may be an afterthought. Unfortunately, any changes made to your home could mean that your insurance contract may be compromised, and in the event of claim you could be denied. Luckily, we’ve provided a list of situations that are important to review with your broker ahead of time.

Make sure to speak to your broker if you’re planning to:

  • Update any of your electrical – Chances are if you’re living in an older property your wiring may need to be updated. Aluminum and knob/tube wiring are typically considered huge risks and your premium may be reduced if replaced.

  • Update any of your plumbing - You may be able to reduce your premium by installing a sump-pump, backwater valve, and basement window wells. This will reduce the risk of your basement flooding.

  • Have a pool or trampoline – Generally these are liabilities that will increase your monthly costs.

  • Install a new roof – Different materials may lower your premium. If you’re looking to install solar panels you may need additional coverage.

  • Renovate a space for home business or rent use – This also requires a different type of coverage like home business coverage or landlord insurance.

  • Be vacant from your property while renovating – Your home policy requires you to be residing at your property. If you’re planning to stay elsewhere for a duration of time you may need a permit from your insurer.1

Remember, any damage during renovations – like a pipe bursting during a bathroom remodel – could be subject of a claim, but without your insurance provider knowing beforehand you may be denied according to a breach in your contract.

If you have any questions about a future renovation you’d like to plan, or would like to review your current home policy, call one of our OTIP Brokers today at  1-833-494-0090. You can also get a quote on a home insurance policy by calling an OTIP Broker at 1-888-892-4935.

  1. Before You Renovate – Insurance Bureau of Canada

  2. Majority of Canadians steering clear of debt for home renos: Survey – BNN Bloomberg

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