It is a good idea for all homeowners to review their policy at least on an annual basis. But why should you review your homeowner’s policy before the end of the year? In this article, we’re going to give you 10 reasons you should review your homeowner’s insurance policy. The end of the year is always a great time to do this because it is a memorable time for everyone and a great time to start fresh for the following year.
Did you know that your insurance policy is a contract between you and your insurance company? Your insurance policy dictates the type of coverage and benefits that you will receive if a loss or claim should happen. If it is not on your insurance policy, you cannot claim it. This is why it is very important for you to look at your insurance policy on a regular basis or get somebody else to review it for you.
So let’s look at 10 reasons you should review your homeowner’s insurance policy before the end of the year:
- Home Improvements
2020 has been a big year for home improvements. Many who are staying at home due to COVID-19 are spending their spare time fixing up their homes. If you decide to renovate your basement, or kitchen, or bathrooms, or add an extra bedroom, or add a huge porch or deck, this will increase the replacement cost should your home experience a catastrophic loss period it is important to contact your homeowners’ insurance to adjust the coverage to account for the increase in value.
- Your personal contents increase
When you purchased your homeowner’s insurance, you also had to estimate the cost it would take to replace any personal contents that you had in your home in the event that you had a catastrophic loss. Most likely, you have not adjusted for the added contents and furnishings since you’ve been in your house or since you have initiated your policy. If you have expensive items like jewelry, artwork, electronics, firearms, or anything of major value, you will want to ensure that your home insurance coverage limits are high enough to cover and replace them if you have a loss.
- If you started a home business
Many times insurance companies will require you to increase your coverage to protect your business operations if you are operating out of your home. This coverage could be for anything from a computer to a desk, or any office equipment, supplies, cameras, lights, etc. did you know that you can also take out a separate insurance policy to ensure your business equipment and assets? You should speak with an insurance agent about what business coverage is you can have while working out of your home.
- An increase in your property value
When you first purchase your home, is typically when you start your homeowner’s policy. A lot can change over a period of time especially when it comes to increases in market value. For example, if you purchased your home in 2010 for $200,000, and 10 years later, it may be worth $400,000. Let’s say that a tornado came through and completely demolished your home. If you only had coverage up to $200,000, that is all you will get from the insurance. Even though it may take much more to rebuild your home. A review of your homeowner’s policy is imperative to ensure that you can rebuild should the need arise.
- Did you add a swimming pool, trampoline, hot tub, basketball court, etc.?
While pools and trampolines and other entertainment structures are great to have for the enjoyment of your home, they also bring a new level of risk. In order to properly cover you should something more to happen, you should assess the liability coverage to protect you and your assets should someone get hurt while playing in or on these new additions.
- Did you install home safety systems?
An alarm or home surveillance system is a very popular item with homeowners these days. If you added additional safety features, now is the time to note that in your home insurance policy. Most of the time you will find that you qualify for discounts on your policy as a result.
- Did you decide to rent your home?
Did you move out of your primary residence and want to rent your home out? If so, you need to adjust your insurance policy. This includes if you rent it out on platforms like Airbnb or VRBO , or if you have a long term rental with one tenant.
- Did you add a new pet?
Did you add a new pet to your family? Wild pets can be very exciting and comforting to have around the house, it is important to speak with your homeowner’s insurance company to inform them of the type of pet that you brought into the home. For some pets you may need additional coverage to ensure that you are covered should something happen. There are certain animals that are at higher risk to bite or cause damage to a person or property.
- Did you have an increase in income/personal assets?
Did your net worth increase? If so, you should make sure that you have enough liability coverage in your homeowner’s insurance policy to cover any liability suit that may be filed against you. As your assets increase in value it is a possibility that they could also be in danger if someone does file a liability suit against you. As your net worth increases, you should also look to increase your liability coverage.
- Discounts are available, when is the last time you checked?
Many homeowners insurance policies will offer discounts. Some change discounts often. It is important to talk with your insurance company to find changes in discounts.
Going into 2021 with a fresh look and renewed homeowners policy will give you peace-of-mind knowing that you will be properly covered should something happen. One thing you should also do during this time is to find a reputable Public Adjuster. They take all of the complexities as it relates to your claim process. They are your advocate and work on your behalf to resolve your claim expeditiously and maximize your return.
Why not get a free policy review from one of our insurance experts?