In general, you should contact your agent to assist you in a review of your coverages whenever you change something significant about your home or its contents. At the very least, reevaluate your policy each year to make sure your policy is giving you what you need. Not doing so could leave you paying more for less coverage, or leave you with inadequate financial protection should a fire or other disaster damage your home or a thief steal your valuables.
Here are a few examples of when your coverage should be reviewed:
- You remodel your home. For instance, if you’ve updated your kitchen, added a master bathroom, finished the basement, or completed another large project or addition, make sure your coverage is in line with your home. Most insurance companies require you to adjust your coverage if you add more than $5,000 in value to your home.
- You purchase big-ticket items. If you’ve recently purchased valuable electronics or pricey artwork, jewelry or furniture, call your agent. It’s important to note that should you lose a piece of jewelry (your wedding ring, for example,) your homeowners insurance likely will not cover the loss. However, you are able to add better coverage to your policy to cover such loss.
- You start (or already operate) a business from your home. If your important documents, computer or other business-related equipment reside in your home office, make sure you are adequately protected against loss. Be aware that a homeowners or a personal umbrella policy typically doesn’t provide coverage for incidents that take place while conducting business. For example, if you fix cars in your garage and experience a fire, this loss could be excluded from your coverage since it was business related. Also note that without separate business liability coverage, any medical expenses associated with injuries on your property by a customer or employee could be your responsibility to pay out of pocket. The good news is that coverage for many home businesses can be added for very little cost.
- You add an alarm system. This very likely could be a benefit to you and lower your premium. Some insurance companies have even begun to offer discounts for DIY systems such as Ring or Nest. After you install your security system, give your insurance company a call.
Never hesitate to call and ask if you have the right coverage for your needs.