Renewing Your Home Insurance? Here's What You Need To Know.
When it comes to renewing your home insurance, you may be used to just carrying the same coverage year-to-year. But it's actually a great time to review your policy, your coverage needs, and to shop around for the best possible policy.
Familiarizing yourself with your policy is a good first step. If you need help getting started with understanding what is in your insurance policy, here's a quick read on the subject from our blog.
Once you understand what is covered in your current policy, use this checklist to make sure it still fits your needs.
Check your deductibles.
If your deductible is a percentage of the insured value of your home, check what the percent value is as a dollar amount and see if that amount is doable for your finances. You will have to cover this portion before your insurance policy kicks in to cover any claims. Typically, if you have a higher deductible, the monthly premiums will be lower. If you have a low deductible, you are probably paying higher monthly premiums. Adjusting deductibles higher can save you money in the short term but remember you will have to pay a higher out-of-pocket amount if you file a claim.
Check the roof coverage.
When your roof reaches a certain age, your insurance company might switch your policy from replacement cost coverage to actual cash covering. If your roof is in poor condition, your company might drop your roof coverage altogether. So it is always a good idea to double-check this portion to make sure you have the coverage you need.
Check for errors.
Check your policy information carefully. Be sure your name, address, the age of the house, the square footage, and the type of build are all correct. This is important as companies use this information to determine the value of your home when insuring it. If you have had an addition put on your home, or added a pool, you need to update this section so you don't run into coverage issues down the road.
Check your coverages.
Home insurance policies cover the basic areas and contents of your home. However, there are some events that wouldn't be covered under your regular home insurance policy. Flood or earthquake damage is won't be covered by most policies. Damage resulting from a flood or earthquake can be devastating. Just one inch of water can cause up to $25,000 of damages - that's an expense you don't want to find out after you go to file a claim that your policy doesn't You can learn more about flood insurance on our website, and about other additional coverages you may want to consider, like earthquake coverage.
It is always good to shop your coverage as well. Make sure you work with a trusted insurance agent or company and read and understand your policy before signing it. If you have any questions, be sure to ask them prior to purchasing the policy.