Bolster (www.getbolster.com) announced the launch of the company, which simplifies the chaos of the home remodeling process by providing home remodeling insurance that guarantees the outcome of every project. For the first time, homeowners are protected against common nightmare scenarios such as unjustified price increases, shoddy workmanship, and project delays. Bolster is a software application available on the web and any mobile device. The service is now available in the State of New York and will continue to roll out in cities across the US in the coming months.
Bolster helps homeowners learn the true cost of their project in advance, vets and underwrites their contractor of choice, and provides expert project-management advice. By offering insurance coupled with robust content, homeowners can feel empowered to eliminate the financial risks associated with remodeling.
Bolster also announces a first-of-its-kind discovery partnership with the American Institute of Architects (AIA). As discovery partners, the AIA and Bolster combine their strengths and expertise to the benefit of homeowners, contractors and architects operating in the remodeling industry.
"Remodeling is like marriage; finding a great contractor is just the beginning," said Fraser Patterson, founder and CEO of Bolster. "The real challenge begins once the project actually starts. Homeowners have a huge learning curve when it comes to home remodeling, and find it hard to compare bids, access contracts, or even know the right questions to ask. Remodeling is also stressful because it is likely to be a person’s second largest investment next to buying a home and without remodeling insurance, this large amount of money is unnecessarily at risk. Bolster provides peace of mind for homeowners."
At the core of Bolster’s remodeling insurance is a custom bid, performance, payment and warranty bond, which is brokered and underwritten by independent insurance partners including National Financial Partners (broker) and Capitol Insurance Companies (underwriter).
"Bolster provides a real solution to a real problem that has been sorely needed by consumers," said Timothy Gardner, Global Leader of Risk Management, Marsh. "Bolster built a new insurance product that’s never existed for a market that really needed it. Their insurance, platform and expertise enable homeowners to feel like an expert is on their side and looking out for them during one of the largest financial commitments they’ll make in their lives."
The collaboration with the AIA covers a wide range of educational, research, and promotional activities; principle among them, the AIA will be promoting Bolster through various channels to their member base of 80,000 architects.
"Our calling as architects is to help design a better world starting with well-designed homes that contribute to a family’s well-being," said AIA CEO Robert Ivy, FAIA. "Bolster’s home remodeling insurance program is a significant innovation that helps more homeowners benefit from the expertise AIA member architects can bring to their remodeling project."
Bolster helps homeowners avoid many common home remodeling pitfalls through a simple process that follows:
Homeowners sign up with Bolster and invite their contractor(s) to be vetted and underwritten. Bolster also provides advice on the value of registered architects and how to engage them in the Bolster remodeling process.
Bolster’s insurance partners prequalify contractor(s) who in turn, bid on home remodeling projects
Bolster’s insurance partners underwrite winning contractors
Homeowners manage their projects through the Bolster software application and contact Bolster directly to alter coverage (for change orders)
Homeowners can access, store, and share live project documents, including industry-standard remodeling contracts and sample templates
Homeowners can report a claim at any point during the remodeling process, get it approved, and have their project completed at no extra cost
Homeowners additionally have free access to industry-standard contracts and sample documents, project management tools, and remodeling advice-driven content.