Should I Adjust Insurance After Home Improvements? Three Questions Will Tell

Did you make home improvements to your house or condo this year? Many people did. After the project’s done, many clients ask “should I increase my home or condo insurance after a renovation”?

You depend on your homeowners insurance to pay to rebuild your home after a disaster. It’s important for insurance to keep up with inflation and changes in your home.

How can you tell if your project requires an insurance adjustment? Three questions should give you the answer. This assumes you had enough insurance before your project.

Did You Build Something?

Did you add living space to your home? Finish a basement or attic? Add a deck? If so, you should increase your Coverage A (Dwelling) insurance. How much? Probably by the full cost of the renovation.

Did you add a structure to the yard? A shed, fence, gazebo or swimming pool? Check your policy’s Coverage B (Other Structures) limit. Most homeowners policies cover Other Structures at 10% of Coverage A. If your home’s insured for $300,000, you likely have $30,000 Coverage B. Is that enough? Then you don’t need to adjust your insurance.

Update, or Upgrade?

Some home projects don’t affect property rebuilding cost. Most homeowners and condo insurance policies cover building items at replacement cost. That means “new for old”, without depreciation. If a fire damages your 20-year old roof or boiler, your insurance pays for a new one.

Did you replace your worn-out roof, flooring, kitchen or boiler?  If the replacement is the same quality as the old, you may not need to adjust your insurance.

Did you upgrade laminate counters with stone? Linoleum with ceramic tile? Standard cabinets with custom?  You should upgrade your Coverage A. How much?

Here’s a guide for what to include:

  • Demo and removal costs – not included
  • Design services – included
  • Materials – included, but only the upgrade differential.

Are Your Improvements Even Insured?

Home and Condo insurance doesn’t cover everything. Most landscaping and earthwork isn’t covered. Trees are covered only for a fraction of their replacement cost, and against limited perils.

Did you install solar panels or other green energy items? Off-the-shelf policies don’t cover breakdown or most power surge. Optional coverage may be available. You may want to update your insurance.

Questions About Your Home Insurance?

Do you live in Southern Maine? Considering an insurance change? Not sure if you have enough home insurance to rebuild? Contact a Noyes Hall & Allen Insurance agent in South Portland at 207-799-5541.

We can help determine the replacement cost of your home. We offer a choice of many of Maine’s top insurers. We can check the market to find you the best value, and recommend coverage based on your needs. We’re independent and committed to you.  

Relocating to Portland Maine? We Can Help

During the COVID pandemic, many people are relocating to the Portland Maine area. 2020 has been a banner year for people moving here.

Looking for a safer, more affordable place to live, work and play? A desirable place to raise a family? A slower pace? Portland offers all of this. So do nearby suburbs like South Portland, Cape Elizabeth, Scarborough, Falmouth, Cumberland and Westbrook.

Portland Maine is Safe

Through November 2020, Maine successfully managed the public health aspect of the COVID pandemic. Cumberland County had about 1/3 the infection rate of the rest of the country: 11,500 cases per million. Rural Maine had even lower rates.    

Maine is a safe place to live even after COVID time. Maine’s crime rates are among the lowest in the nation. Our roads are safer, too: traffic deaths are about 10% below national average.

Maine: Room to Spread Out

The Portland Maine MSA is home to about 250,000. That’s 390 people per square mile. Even Portland, the state’s largest city, only has about 3,000 people per square mile. Portland is the ideal size for a small city: about 70,000 people.

Like the outdoors? Sailing, hiking, skiing, snowmobiling, cycling and beaches are all a short distance from home.

Prefer to be entertained? Portland has choices. Live music venues, theatres, professional sports teams, museums and more.

Portland Maine’s Foodie Culture

Portland has a national reputation for restaurants, breweries, distilleries and food. The proximity of local farms and seafood adds to its farm-to-table culture. Portland was Bon Appetit’s Restaurant City of the Year in 2018.

COVID restrictions limit indoor restaurant dining in 2020. But it’s too much a part of Portland’s identity to disappear. The restaurant scene will be vibrant again.

We Can Help You Settle Here

Whether you’re buying a house or a condo or renting an apartment, our agents can help with insurance. We’ll send proof of renters or hazard insurance to your landlord or lender. We can provide you with the insurance card which you need to register your vehicles in Maine.

First time homebuyer? We make the insurance part easy. A 10-minute phone call is all it takes to start. Or, you can compare Maine insurance quotes online at our website. When you’re ready for help, Noyes Hall & Allen agents are known for responsiveness and knowledge. We’ve earned great customer reviews.

Call a Noyes Hall & Allen Insurance agent in South Portland at 207-799-5541. We’re independent and committed to you.