By Colleen Kenney
(WINDSOR, ON) – The summer is in full swing and so, it appears, are the sledgehammers. Home renovation in Canada is no small business.
According to a 2014 Housing Report from Altus Group, a Toronto-based property consulting firm, total spending on residential upgrades and additions has growing to nearly $68 billion annually, more than doubling the late 1990s figures, and outpacing the amount Canadians are spending on new homes.
In fact, renovation spending is becoming a key player in the Canadian economy, accounting for 3.4% of GDP in 2014. That’s a trend Altus estimates will continue to grow by 3% annually for the next two years.
So, whether this boom is explained by the growing number of popular home renovation shows, or Canada’s aging housing stock, one thing is for sure; it’s no passing phase.
“Unfortunately, what many homeowners fail to realize is that simply having home insurance does not guarantee full coverage for their homes, especially following renovations,” said Christine Paquette, Operations Manager for Southland Insurance.
Because the rebuild cost of a home increases with upgrades, homeowners would be wise to report all significant changes to their broker. This is the easiest and best way to ensure your hard-earned renovations are recognized in your policy and protected in the event of a claim.
“Anytime you make a change to your home, it’s recommended that you call your broker,” advised Paquette.
Speak with your insurance broker if you:
- Install a pool or hot tub
- Refinish your basement, bathroom, or kitchen
- Add square footage (i.e. a sunporch)
- Upgrade your condo
- Do a renovation worth $10,000 or more (the value may differ by insurance company)
- Replace your roof or furnace
- Upgrade plumbing or electrical