We know, we know. Reviewing and updating your homeowners insurance policy isn’t the most exciting item on your to do list but like washing your windows, you need to do it every now and again. Sorry. In fact, we recommend reviewing your policy annually to make sure you’re well-covered. Go ahead, grab your phone and set a reminder in your calendar for the month before your policy is scheduled to renew. That’ll give you plenty of time to procrastinate, review your policy, speak to your agent, and make changes as necessary.
It’s Time to Update Your Homeowners Insurance When…
You Remodel Your Home or Make a Major Improvement
If you’ve updated your kitchen with the latest state-of-the-art appliances or swapped your worn vinyl for chic subway tiles, then it’s time to take a second look at your policy. Other home improvements that merit a second look include, remodeling, finishing your basement, building an addition, deck construction, a new roof, or new hardwood floors. To be on the safe side, if you’ve done any work on your home, be sure to speak with your agent to reassess your home’s value.
You Buy A Big Ticket Item
With Amazon Prime Day in the rearview mirror and Tennessee’s Sales Tax Holiday fast approaching, you may find yourself in possession of some new valuables. Whether it’s that MacBook you’ve been eyeing, a limited edition Gibson Les Paul, or diamond tiara, if you’ve added some big ticket purchases to your home’s inventory, it’s time to increase your limits and coverage.
You Haven’t Taken Inventory For a While
When’s the last time you carefully catalogued the contents of your home? If it’s been a while (or never) now’s the time. A good home inventory is a detailed record of your belongings. Include art, jewelry, electronics, inventory, appliances, furniture, antiques, and other valuables. If possible, note serial numbers, dates of purchase, and purchase prices. Photograph each room and your valuables and then store your inventory and photos in a safe place or share copies with trusted family members.
Your Policy Doesn’t Provide Enough Coverage to Rebuild Your Home
As Nashville’s economy continues to thrive, new houses are being built and developed with each passing day. Turner Construction VP Attilio Rivetti noted that “The steady pace of construction starts across the country is continuing to have an impact on the skilled labor workforce. As a result, we are seeing subcontractors exercise greater caution in their pursuits. Their selective approach to bidding also contributes to increased prices.”
In fact, yearly construction costs have risen nearly 5% from the Second Quarter of 2016 to 2017! What does that mean for existing homeowners? It means that your replacement values may no longer accurately reflect the true cost of rebuilding your home in today’s hot real estate market.
Allstate Agent Tim Waltrip of Shawnee, KS writes that “Changes in construction costs (they can vary from year to year), upgrades to a kitchen or bathroom, new kitchen appliances, or updates to a basement can all affect the cost to repair or rebuild your home. For example, new finishes in your kitchen can change your existing kitchen from ‘standard’ to one that’s considered ‘semi-custom’ or ‘custom.’ Since insurance companies replace lost items with ‘like kind and quality,’ it is important to estimate the full cost of replacing finishes, appliances, electrical systems and plumbing systems in determining your coverage” (Allstate blog).
You Haven’t Checked FEMA’s Flood Insurance Rate Map Recently
Don’t assume that all disasters or perils are covered by your homeowners insurance. Floods and damages caused by flooding water are rarely covered. Visit Metro’s website for the latest FEMA Floodplain Map. While you’re at it, discuss other possible exclusions with your agent such as mold or broken pipes, if you’re dealing with a flood or mold, there’s no need for any additional unpleasant surprises! If you’re uncomfortable with your policy’s coverage, you may want to consider purchasing endorsements or flood insurance to beef up your coverage. You agent will steer you in the right direction.
You Don’t Know What Your Deductible Is
If you can’t readily recite the details of your policy, it’s time to give it a review. To keep costs down, try to go for the highest deductible you can afford.
You Added a Security System or Sprinklers
We saved the best for last! If you have made improvements to your home, you may be due for some savings! Monitored home security systems such as those installed by NCA Alarms or an automated home fire suppression system can shave costs from your premiums.