Will DIY Fixes Affect Your Insurance?

DIY fixes are just part of owning a house. Even if you have the cash to hire a pro every single time you need something done, if you know how to replace a window, why would you sit in the draft all weekend waiting for a repairman to come by? A worthwhile concern: What DIY fixes will and will not affect your insurance rates?

No matter what sort of policy you have, whether you buy from Peter Laczko Insurance Inc. or you throw a dart at the insurance section of the yellow pages, you’re looking at essentially the same deal: If you need a permit or a license, you’d better call your insurer about it, first.

This is, of course, only a general rule of thumb, and there are plenty of exceptions, but more often than not this guideline holds true. If a project is big enough or delicate enough that licensing and permits are in order, then you need to talk to your insurer to make sure that it’s covered. This means things like building additional rooms onto a home, taking whole walls out of the house to expand a room, installing all new wiring and so on.

The problem that many homeowners run into is when their home suffers damages because of their own repair work. When a home owner installs a new bathtub without telling their insurer, and they seal it improperly, causing the flooring underneath to rot, the insurer is typically not going to cover that, for obvious reasons. On the other hand, you’re unlikely to have your insurer deny your claim for a house fire because you installed a new set of cabinet doors.

In short: If there’s any paperwork involved, just make sure your provider gets a copy.

Boosting Policy Limits Minimizes Risk

Georgia’s mandatory minimum liability insurance policy limits are $25,000 for injuries for one person, $50,000 maximum for more than one person and $25,000 for property damage.  The only thing that a driver with minimum liability insurance might be safe on is property damage coverage.  For purposes of an accident being your fault and somebody suffering serious personal injury, minimum liability coverage is woefully insufficient.  That’s why you want to boost your policy limits and limit the risk to you and your family.

Costs of medical care are astronomical.  A serious leg fracture, a night at the emergency room, closed reduction surgery on the fracture, hospitalization, and physical therapy are sure to cost more than $25,000.  Then there’s the issue of the hardware that was implanted in the victim’s leg for life, permanent pain and discomfort and a limp.  The value of a lawsuit against you can easily reach $100,000, and you’re on the hook for that $75,000 excess.  That’s exactly what you want to protect yourself and your family against, especially if you own a home.  Also consider the fact that the more drivers that you have in your family, the more the risk of a serious accident increases.

You can afford to increase your automobile liability policy limits to at least $100,000 a year.  The difference in premiums is rather insignificant, and by increasing your deductible, your auto insurer will probably absorb most of that premium increase anyway.  Peter Laczko Insurance Inc. services Woodstock, GA and all of Georgia.  He’s an independent insurance agent who can line you up with any number of reputable and established auto insurers.  Peter will do the shopping for you, and you can decide on what coverage fits your interests best.