TORONTO, May 10, 2011 – Canadians have been busy improving their homes. A study from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation shows that 2.1 million Canadians undertook a home improvement project worth $1,000 or more in 2009, a 27 per cent increase over the previous year. But what did those homeowners leave their property and family vulnerable to throughout the renovation and after it was completed?
Allstate Insurance Company of Canada reminds Canadian homeowners that alterations to their property should be discussed with their insurance provider to ensure they are protected if their house is damaged or if someone is hurt during the renovation. “Extending your main floor to create a larger kitchen, or even making changes to your plumbing, can affect your insurance policy,” said Karen Benner of Allstate Canada.
Allstate Canada wants to help Canadians better protect their property by providing homeowners with the following list of tips and advice to consider before they start their renovations:
- Review your homeowner’s policy with your insurance agent and ensure that your liability insurance is sufficient for the number of workers that are on your property during construction. If someone is hurt on the job, you can be deemed responsible. You want to be sure your level of coverage provides adequate protection should such an unfortunate event occur during your home renovations.
- Only hire licensed contractors, particularly when these people will be doing electrical or plumbing work. Ask friends and neighbours to recommend contractors who have done similar work on their homes. If you are in a condo, your building may require the contractor’s licence number before work can begin.
- Once the renovations are complete, meet with your insurance agent again to assess your home insurance policy and determine whether or not it needs to be adjusted. The policy should cover the cost of rebuilding your home and replacing its contents. If you have spent $50,000 to renovate your kitchen, make sure your policy accounts for the cost of the upgrades to your home.
“Your insurance agent can serve as a valuable resource when the time comes to make repairs or renovations to your home,” said Benner. “We all need to be aware of unlicensed contractors who may take your money to make repairs or renovations that could either be poorly done or in some cases never completed. Before signing a contract or allowing someone into your home, check with your insurance agent to verify that the contractor is legitimate.”
More information about protecting yourself during a home renovation can be found at goodhandsadvice.ca.
About Allstate Insurance Company of Canada
Allstate Insurance Company of Canada is one of Canada’s leading producers and distributors of home and auto insurance products. “The Good Hands Network®” enables consumers to contact Allstate Canada through one of 94 community-based Agencies, directly online at www.allstate.ca and through the Customer Contact Centre at 1-800-Allstate. Allstate Canada is committed to making a positive difference in the communities in which it operates and has partnered with organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD Canada), Crime Stoppers, United Way and Junior Achievement. In 2010, Allstate Canada, in partnership with the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA), created the Allstate All-Canadians program, a mentorship program designed to guide the next generation of Canada’s hockey youth. Learn more at www.allstate.all-canadians.com.