How Often Should You Review Your Insurance Coverage?

By
Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Capital Properties DC AB15253

As weather patterns change across the globe, there is more of a risk of damage to your home from storms, extreme cold, and fires. It seems that even the "nicest neighborhoods are experiencing random events of vandalism and theft.

If your home is damaged by a storm, fire, theft or vandalism, or if an accident results in injuries, you will look to your homeowners' insurance policy to make you whole. Your coverage and rates are based on the value of your home and its contents and the level of risk, but those variables can change over time. When was the last time that you reviewed your homeowners insurance policy to make sure you have the right coverage?  Here are a few benchmark times to review your coverage. 

1.When Your Policy Is up for Renewal

If your insurance renewal date is approaching, you should receive a letter detailing your current coverage limits and future premiums. Before you agree to the terms, review the document and figure out if your existing coverage is still adequate for your needs. If the company has made changes to its policies, make sure you understand how they will affect your coverage and premiums. If your rates are higher than you’d like, you can switch to a higher deductible or look for a less expensive policy with a different insurer.

2. When You Make Changes to Your Home 

If you make major home improvements, be sure that your insurance company knows. A new room, deck or shed can affect your coverage needs and rates. If you install a pool, you’ll need to have high liability coverage in case there’s a serious accident. Some companies don’t cover trampolines or deny homeowners insurance coverage altogether when one is involved.

On the other hand, upgrades that make your home safer may lower your rates. If you’ve installed a security system, sprinklers or other safety features, you may qualify for discounts.

3. When You Buy Expensive New Things

Your coverage for property is based on the total value of belongings in the house. If you recently bought something expensive, or if you received something of value as a gift or inheritance, you may need to adjust your coverage or get a floater or endorsement to cover those items. If someone recently moved in with you, you may need to increase your coverage to include the value of that person’s possessions.

4. When Your Family or Lifestyle Changes

Marriage, divorce, the birth or adoption of a child, or a family member moving in or out, can all affect your coverage needs. If you’ve recently experienced any of these events or anticipate them, contact your insurance company to discuss any changes you should make to your policy.

5. A New Pet

Insurance companies consider dogs risky because they could bite someone and cause injuries. If you get a dog that’s classified as an aggressive breed, your insurance company may raise your premiums or exclude coverage for your pet altogether.

6. Home Based Businesses and Rentals

Using your house to make money can also affect your insurance coverage. If you start a home-based business or rent out your house, you’ll need to have an appropriate business insurance policy.

Think About How Changes Could Affect Your Insurance Needs
Your homeowners insurance needs change as your life changes. Whenever something significant happens in your life or at your home, talk to your insurance company or agent to make sure you have the right coverage.  In fact, it is a good idea to review your policy with your insurance agent on at least an annual basis.  Some of those "insignificant" changes in your life may have consequences if you are not adequately insured for them. 

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home owner insurance
pets insurance
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Rainer
144,654
Robin Wells
RAW Chimney Sweep and Inspections - Penetanguishene, ON
Giving Peace Of Mind One Chimney At A Time

Thanks for post and tips.  I never had considered pets; and never had any insurance company around me ever ask about pets or dogs.

Sep 02, 2019 04:39 AM #1
Rainmaker
3,093,209
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Good morning, Lise... great post... insurance seems to be one of those things that people buy when they buy a house and then tend to forget about it.

Sep 02, 2019 04:51 AM #2
Rainmaker
4,994,139
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Franklin, MA
Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team

Good morning, Lise Howe I review everything I have for insurance with my agent who represents Arbella as each policy is renewed... I bundle everything with them...

Sep 02, 2019 04:57 AM #3
Rainmaker
3,333,988
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Good morning, Lise - changes of all kinds necessitate a review especially for insurance coverage.  Preparation is definitely important.  

Sep 02, 2019 05:07 AM #4
Rainmaker
3,275,006
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Lise. I had an agent who contacted me yearly to question my coverage. A great wake-up call! Enjoy your day!

Sep 02, 2019 05:13 AM #5
Rainmaker
3,814,512
Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Good morning Lise Howe ,

Great tips as we do tend to forget to review our coverage since we purchased a home. A good insurance agent should be reaching out each year to review the policy..a novel idea..customer service!

Sep 02, 2019 06:24 AM #6
Rainmaker
2,547,151
Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

I review mine annually and often have to switch to a different company each and every year.  It is sad that we have to play the game and loyalty isn't appreciated by big companies these days.

Sep 02, 2019 08:26 AM #7
Rainmaker
5,381,325
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

This is timely information to share. 

I hope you are enjoying the holiday weekend.

Sep 02, 2019 01:59 PM #8
Ambassador
3,801,573
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Lise those are all great reasons to review your insurance coverage!!!

Sep 02, 2019 02:35 PM #9
Rainmaker
3,253,133
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce

We . did this and were amazed...the company was great...the broker had not chosen what we believe was best...bye bye broker.

Sep 03, 2019 06:02 AM #10
Rainmaker
1,919,926
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good moring Lise Howe - thanks for this reminder.  We should all do it.  The timing is great.  I just got my homeowner's renewal.

Sep 03, 2019 08:46 AM #11
Rainmaker
2,112,745
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

Great information! I'm sure this will be helpful to many Lise!

Sep 11, 2019 07:03 AM #12
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Lise Howe

Assoc. Broker and Attorney Licensed in DC, MD, VA,
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