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Dazed and confused...Word of caution to those building or remodeling!

4 days ago
last modified: 4 days ago

So after spending over a year and a half coming up (and obsessing over) a plan to remodel/addition to and having to circumnavigate all the existing conditions that "couldn't change", we finally got to break ground on the work this past Monday and had footers poured on Wednesday. After having a nagging feeling, we added Builder's Risk to our HO policy on Wednesday at the suggestion of our insurance agent since we will be GC'ing parts of the project ourselves and didn't want to leave a loophole in our HO coverage since we had moved out of the house temporarily. Well, yesterday morning, our under construction home was hit by a small tornado/windstorm that basically took the entire roof off leaving the house exposed to further wind and rain damage. We are looking at a total loss most likely. Thank goodness we had added Builder's Risk!!

That being said, I am now overwhelmed that this project is going to be massively more painful, long, and expensive than we thought. Regardless of what insurance says and pays for, we will do a tear down to the foundation. We may even tear out the old basement and start totally from new. It seems worth it at this point. I'm just not sure whether to dance or weep right now. The contents of the house were being stored in a semi trailer next to the house which the wind blew over and it's now on its side :/ Not sure what the process will be yet for itemizing all those items as well.

All of this to say as a word of caution to anyone getting ready to build or remodel a home: Make sure you have Builder's Risk on your policy and/or make absolutely sure your builder has a policy. We knew going in that we likely needed the coverage and I am SO thankful we did. No one ever thinks something like this will happen, but in our case, we have been told that had we not had Builder's Risk, our HO policy would have refused to pay since we weren't occupying the house at the time of the damage. Further, if something happens to your home because of something your builder did, your HO insurance can refuse to pay. I think most banks require it for lending but if you are self-funding a project, make sure you protect yourself.

Any words of wisdom on dealing with insurance adjusters definitely appreciated as well :)

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