PEMCO Insurance: How renovating your home can affect your insurance rates

SEATTLE- Remodeling affects more than just your home`s beauty. It also makes a difference in how much you pay for insurance.

Q13 spoke to the experts at PEMCO Insurance to find out how expanding your home may change your rates.

“I think one of the biggest things we want people to know when it comes to remodeling is that it will affect your home insurance,” said PEMCO Communications Manager Derek Wing.

“About one-third of people doing home renovations don't tell their insurance company, and you don’t want to be that person, because if you do a home remodel it will affect your insurance in a couple of ways. You could end up under-insured or you might be eligible for discounts that you don't even know about. “

Generally, if you do something big enough that you need to take out a loan, such as adding a bathroom or another story, your lender will remind you to update your insurance.

The experts at PEMCO say it`s smaller projects that tend to creep up people.

To be safe, reach out to your insurance provider if you're doing things like adding rooms, upgrading floors and cabinets, switching to high-end appliances, or adding things like decks, fences, and gazebos.

You'll also want to contact your insurance agent if you've added any security features, fires-resistant construction or update your wiring and plumbing- those renovations could actually save you some money.

“Here’s one that a lot of people don’t think of: water sensors,” Wing said.

“Most people are worried about fire or wind storms, and rightfully so, but really the number one claim for home owners is actually water damage; that can be anything from a burst hose or washing machine to a crimped line on that ice machine with your refrigerator, so those are things you want to keep an eye out for as well.”

Finally, if you're not sure whether you need to call your insurance company, the experts at PEMCO say to look at your latest renewal under something called ‘Coverage A.’ It shows how much coverage you currently have.

If it seems low or you`re unsure, call your agent for help.

Your insurance company does not want you to be under- or over-insured, and they have tools to help you figure that out.