How Often Should I Review My Homeowners Insurance Policy?
Did you know there are specific times when we highly recommend reviewing your homeowners’ insurance policy? There may be changes in your life or your home that leave your current coverage or policy inadequate for your protection needs. Please remember that we are here to provide assistance and guidance in assessing your policy as your agent. If you have any questions at all, please feel free to reach out to our office.
1. Policy Renewal When your policy comes up for renewal each, we recommend reviewing the policy for any changes to the coverages or premiums. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Has the company made any changes in coverage since last year?
- Does my policy now include a separate deductible for risks like hail?
- Should I raise the deductible to save money?
- Am I taking advantage of all available discounts?
- Do I need to raise the amount of coverage for liability, personal possessions, or the structure?
- If I don’t have one, do I need a flood, earthquake, or umbrella policy?
2. Major Improvements If you have made any major improvements, make sure you have the proper limits to cover the improvements. Also, if you have made any large personal purchases for items like jewelry or high-priced electronics, you may want to consider adding a personal floater to your policy.
A personal floater will provide more coverage and higher limits for those types of items. If you have made major improvements to your home, such as adding a new room, enclosing a porch, or expanding a kitchen or bathroom, you risk being underinsured if you don’t report the increase in square footage to your insurance company. Don’t forget about new structures outside of your home. If you have built a gazebo, a new shed for your tools, or installed a pool or hot tub, you should notify your insurance company as well.
3. You have made your home safer If you have installed a state-of-the-art fire/burglar alarm system or upgraded your heating, plumbing, or electrical system, make sure that your insurance company knows about these improvements. You may qualify for additional discounts.
4. Major lifestyle changes Marriage, divorce, or adult children who move back into the family home, can all affect your homeowners insurance. When people move in or move out, they take their belongings with them. And you may need additional coverage if there is a sizable increase in the value of the belongings in your home. Starting a home-based business can also trigger changes in your coverage. You will need to get additional coverage for business liability and equipment. If the business is your primary source of income, you may need a Businessowners Package Policy (BOP). You can find out more about insuring a home-based business here.