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Find the right contractor for your home

Daily Herald - 07/07/12 
By Tim Arone

Current economic conditions are encouraging many families that might ordinarily build or purchase new homes to instead elect to build onto the homes they already have.

Tim Arone, vice president of risk management with Privilege Underwriters Reciprocal Exchange, a member-owned specialist insurer that caters to high net worth homeowners, said one of the best ways to ensure a successful renovation is to select a reputable, honest contractor with a track record of success. Here are some of the questions Arone recommends any family asks before embarking on large-scale home renovations:

  • Have I informed my insurance agent/provider that I'm renovating my home? Advise your insurance agent or insurance company that you're embarking on a renovation to ensure that you remain properly covered. Some companies limit coverage for losses caused during an undisclosed renovation, so avoid surprises and talk to your agent.
  • Are there additional resources that may help me vet this contractor? Look to your local Better Business Bureau for a record of any consumer complaints, and check with your insurer to see what services they can offer. Some high-end companies like PURE offer policyholders complimentary background checks and the services of a Member Advocate to help screen contractors.
  • Does the contractor have a list of references that I can speak to and visit? Can I visit jobs in progress? The candidate should be able to provide names and contact information for at least three clients. Ask each reference if you can see the project this contractor completed for them.

For more tips to protect your home, visit pureinsurance.com/member_advice_center.