New Year – Do you Need a New Homeowners Insurance Policy?
Most people go to the doctor for an annual physical and check the batteries in their smoke detectors at Daylight Saving time, but are you reviewing your existing insurance policies and coverage needs annually before renewing?
If not, you should be. There may be gaps in your coverage and you may not be as well-protected as you think. Conversely, you may be overpaying due to a mistake on your credit report.
Annual Homeowners Insurance Checklist
Review the items below to find out if you need to speak with your insurance agent and make changes to your policy before renewing in 2015.
- Did you increase the square footage of your home, add on or finish an unfinished space such as a basement? If so, you may need to increase your coverage.
- Has your area experienced a construction “boom” as the recession has eased? If so, the cost of replacing your home could be significantly greater than it was even a few years ago when the construction industry was decidedly cool.
- You may need to increase your coverage to make sure you’re not making up for the difference out-of-pocket.
- Did you make any improvements to your home to increase its disaster resistance or security? If you added storm shutters, reinforced your roof, replaced infrastructure on an old home, updated your heating or water systems to make them less fire or flood-prone, or added a home security system or deadbolt locks, you may be eligible for discounts on your policy.
- Did you retire? Some providers give a discount for retirees.
- Did you receive any expensive, high-end, or collectible gifts over the holiday? If yes, you’ll want to add riders to cover them. Similarly, if you gifted a valuable piece of jewelry or collectible, or an expensive item that you own has depreciated in value, remove or reduce your coverage.
- How’s your credit? Many insurance companies use your credit report to help determine your premium. Order a copy of your credit report and check it prior to renewing.
Why is this an important step? According to a February 2013 CBS News report, an estimated 40 million Americans, or 20%, have a mistake on their credit report and 20 million of those are significant in nature. Besides impacting your insurance rate, a mistake on your credit report can increase the interest you pay on loans, prevent you from getting a mortgage, buying a car, or even landing a job.
Your insurance company is checking it, so it’s wise for you to verify if there are any mistakes and correct them before renewing.
Contact Boyle Insurance Agency
Contact Boyle Insurance Agency when considering renewing your policy. We can help you determine what changes you might need to make to your coverage to avoid gaps and also make sure you’re qualifying for all the discounts for which you may be eligible.