Your beloved marble countertops are the cherry on top of your kitchen renovation. You’ve bought all the proper solutions and buffing cloths and tend to your countertops with the utmost care. That being said, if the worst were to happen and your countertops were damaged or broken, would they be protected under the dwelling coverage of your homeowner’s policy or personal property coverage? Here’s everything you need to know.
Does dwelling coverage protect countertops?
The short answer is yes.
When it comes to your home, the different parts of it fall into two broad categories, its contents and its structure. The contents of your home include everything from the clothes you wear to the appliances you use, like your dishwasher, stove, and refrigerator.
The structural elements of your home, on the other hand, are items that are directly attached to your home, including your chimney, cabinets, and countertops. In essence, anything that can’t be carried away from your home (at least without going through a lot of trouble) is considered a part of its structure.
When it comes to the contents of your home, coverage falls under the personal property component of your homeowners insurance, or Coverage C. Items that are a part of the structure of your home are covered under the dwelling component of your insurance, or Coverage A.
Can new countertops make your homeowners insurance go up?
Yes, renovations could cause your insurance rate to go up. Upgrading your home, including putting in new countertops, can affect its value. An increased value means your insurance provider would have to pay more to repair or replace the components (or the entirety) of your home. Therefore, if your home’s value increases, your insurance will also increase.
That’s why it’s extremely important to inform your insurance agent when any renovations or upgrades are added to your home so that they can adjust your coverage. It would be devastating to find out you don’t have enough coverage after your countertops have been damaged by a peril that would’ve otherwise been covered.
How to file a claim for your countertops
If your countertops are damaged, you’ll need to file a claim for your insurance to pay to have them repaired. Keep in mind that if the cost of the repair is less than your deductible, you’re probably better off paying for the repairs out of pocket and not filing a claim.
If you do end up filing a claim, it’s recommended go ahead and make any urgent repairs needed to prevent further damage. In fact, some homeowner insurance policies require that homeowners take this step. If you do have to make repairs, keep any receipts for reimbursement later.
It’s also important to take photos of the damage, both before and after the repairs. This, along with any other documentation, such as a list of the repairs needed, should provide enough documentation to help process your claim. Once it has been submitted, the home insurance company will send an adjuster to inspect the damage. Once the adjuster has completed their investigation and determined that your counters were damaged or broken by a peril covered in your policy, the insurance company will determine how much they will pay out to replace or repair your countertops.
If you have replacement value coverage, your insurance company will cover the replacement of your countertops even if the replacement cost is higher than the market value of the items you lost. Whereas if you have market value insurance, you will only receive the amount your counters were worth before they became damaged. You might receive an initial payment to help cover any immediate expenses or you could receive a settlement for the entire claim all at once.