If there is one lesson we can take away from last year’s busy hurricane season, it would be to review our insurance policies often.
The 10-year storm-free streak had made Florida homeowners complacent about protecting their most valuable assets. Many had purchased home insurance long ago, and simply assumed it was still intact when Hurricane Irma rolled into town.
But when it came to filing a claim, it turned out they were underinsured. This year should be different. Floridians should be reviewing their current policies with their agents at least a few times a year to ensure they have adequate coverage.
Here are four events that should trigger a policy, according to the Insurance Information Institute:
At renewal time
This is when your policy is about to hit its one-year mark and it’s time to renew it. But don’t just automatically pay for another year. This is the perfect moment to review your coverage and make sure the policy is still right for you.
A homeowner can endure many changes in a year, making it essential to update their insurance policies. Some of these changes may include the following:
- Rising the deductible to save money
- Applying a discount as a result of an upgrade, such as a new roof
- Including a new add-on, such as an earthquake or flood insurance
- Raising the liability coverage
- Cross compare prices of the same coverage across other insurers
After a major purchase
So, you finally bought that big screen TV. Excellent! But don’t forget to add it to your insurance policy. You can choose to increase the amount of insurance you have for personal possessions to cover or purchasing an endorsement, which will give you broader coverage for these items than what you have in your policy.
After a home improvement
Major home improvements such as adding a new room to your house can be exciting. But you should know that this increases the square footage of your home and should, therefore, be added to your homeowners insurance policy.
New structures outside of your home will also need to be included. For example, if you have built a swimming pool or purchased a new shed, you will need to review your policy to make sure the new structures are properly covered. These improvements are not cheap, so insuring them will be more than worth it.
Learn about how you can avoid overpaying for a swimming pool here.
But not all home improvements lead to an increased premium. Some may lead to discounts for making your home safer. These include installing a new fire or burglar alarm system or getting a new roof. Wind mitigation reports are also famous for chipping off a big chunk in discounts.
After a major lifestyle change
The average homeowner can go through a lot in just one year, but many don’t realize these changes can impact their insurance. Marriage, divorce or adult children who move back home are just a few examples.
Working from home can also trigger changes to your coverage. Depending on your work, you may need to get additional coverage for business liability and equipment as well as professional liability, which are not included in a typical homeowners insurance policy.