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Talk with your insurance provider when considering home renovations

September 16, 2014

With a large portion of Americans marking Labor Day as the end of summer, many homeowners throughout the country are stepping on the gas to finish leftover home renovation projects—because let's face it, nobody wants to let a small renovation plan seep into the cold winter months.

And while it's great to check a completed project off the to-do list, finishing a remodeling job can be rewarding on numerous levels. Some homeowners feel satisfied because they've improved the comfort level of their homes, while others are pleased to add value to their properties through renovations.

A new roof could save you big on home insurance.

One thing homeowners need to remember when tackling a renovation project is to talk with their insurance carriers. Don Griffin, vice president of personal lines at the Property Casualty Insurers Association, told Bankrate homeowners must recognize potential changes to their homes could impact more than the resale value.

“A renovation may affect the value of your home or the liability issues,” Griffin said. “Anything that changes the structure or use of the property can change your policy.”

The problem with upgrading the value of a property through a home makeover is that it could render a person's home insurance coverage insufficient, leaving them susceptible to losses that may not be covered because of the change, according to Bankrate.

On the other hand, certain improvements could help lower insurance premiums, making it important to speak with an insurance provider before taking on any rehabilitation plans.

“When making improvements to your house, it's a good time to have an insurance conversation to get enough coverage and possibly discounts,” Richard Hutchinson, a general manager at Progressive Insurance, told Bankrate.

Homeowners interested in finding the perfect policy—and premium—for their needs would do well in contacting SelectQuote Auto & Home. SelectQuote provides users with comparison shopping for a dozen of the nation's top insurance agencies, including Progressive.

Home renovations for insurance reasons

The Family Handyman reported many insurance companies offer discounts for improvements that make a home safer, which include smoke detectors, indoor sprinklers and deadbolt locks. Few homeowners will start a home remodeling project simply to save money on their insurance policies, but those that do should consider starting with a new roof.

“The roof is probably the single biggest factor affecting your policy,” Jim Towns, an insurance agent in Illinois, told Bankrate. “That's where the majority of losses due to snow, wind, hail and rain occur.”