Your attic may be where you store your holiday decorations and old clothes, and your basement may be the place for your impressive home entertainment system. These rooms may not factor into your everyday life, but there always is an insurance risk. A place you do not visit often can develop problems unseen.
But AAA is here to protect you and your home, from the attic to the basement and everywhere in between. Here are some tips and advice to help you protect your basement and attic and get the most out of your home insurance.
Insurance risk in the basement and attic
If raccoons or insects invade your home, they are likely to start with the attic and basement respectively. If raccoons invade your home, you may notice trails, droppings and noises. While it is possible to trap and disperse of the raccoons yourself, it can be difficult to completely eradicate the invaders and seal up the hole they used to get into the attic in the first place. The best course of action is to hire a professional, local raccoon removal expert.
Similarly, a bug problem in your basement means you should hire a local exterminator to identify and eliminate any pest problem.
If you have someone living in your basement or attic as a sublet or rental, you should talk to your insurance agent about your responsibilities as a landlord. You may need to purchase a separate policy, depending if it is a long-term or a short-term lease.
Basement improvement tips
Remodeling your basement adds value to your home. But if you turn a previously uninhabitable area into a living space, you’ll need to inform your insurance agent. A remodel means that your insurance needs to be adjusted accordingly.
There is an insurance risk attached to a basement improvement. A finished basement with new walls and carpet may need water backup coverage if the sump pump or water heater is down there.
Attic remodel advice
You might be the kind of homeowner with an attic that has been untouched for years and seldom attended to. And that is okay. Or you might be the person who has renovated your attic and fixed up your space to be something special.
And if you have done an attic remodel, good for you! But you should know the potential insurance risk. Renovating your attic changes the value of your home and could involve making changes that require more coverage. An attic remodel may mean changing vents to bring them up to code in an older house, or installing power sockets, depending on the goal of the renovation. This is especially relevant if you plan to change your attic into a living area.
Talk to your insurance agent about the changes you would like to make to your attic and how that could affect your coverage.
Flood insurance = basement protection
By definition, your basement is at the bottom of your house. Unfortunately, that also means that your basement is the most likely place to flood, especially in a storm surge. This is a well-known insurance risk. Ask your insurance agent about your coverage in case of flooding, and know what coverage you would receive in such an event.
Take pictures of your basement before potential damage. Store these pictures online or away from your home. Pictures and video provide evidence of the status of your basement for your insurance company, which is important when you are trying to recoup the money needed to repair your home to its original state.
Keeping valuables in your attic
On a final note, you probably have something valuable in your attic, such as a family heirloom, expensive purchases, or collectibles. If these items are particularly valuable or rare, you may want to raise the liability limit or add a rider to your coverage. You assess the value of such an item by providing a receipt or having it appraised. You will need to keep appraisals current and updated every three to five years.
Do you have any treasures in your attic? What’s special about your basement? Why is it important to you to have insurance for these parts of your home? Leave a comment below and let us know!
Protect yourself, your attic and your basement. Talk to an agent today or visit AAA.com/Insurance to get a home insurance quote.