Updating your insurance may be the furthest thing from your mind when your spring and summer activities are in full swing. However, it’s important to consider how life events like family road trips in a new car, graduation parties, or home decorating projects can affect your homeowners policy. Every year, on June 28th, National Insurance Awareness Day is observed to encourage people to review their coverage. When is the last time you checked your homeowners policy? If you haven’t already, make sure you’re reviewing it annually — at least four to eight weeks before expiry — as well as getting in touch with your agent if any of these significant changes occur to ensure you’re properly covered.
1. When the kids move out.
As you prepare to send your son or daughter off to college, don’t forget to add “review insurance protection” to the checklist. While most homeowners policies extend coverage to an on-campus student’s personal belongings, more protection may be needed to cover expensive items like musical instruments or sports equipment. If your kid is staying in an off-campus apartment, renters insurance can help protect his or her belongings in case of damage or theft. Either way, let your insurance agent know about the move and get help understanding which policy changes need to be made.
2. If you buy a new car.
Are your auto and homeowners coverages written by different companies? With the purchase of a new car, now may be the time to bundle these policies to save. For example, combining more than one policy with Personal Express Insurance could qualify you for a Multi-Policy Discount of up to 17% in savings. Plus, if the number of drivers change — like when your teenager reaches driving age — you will want to contact your insurer to add them to the policy or inquire about multiple-vehicle discounts.
3. You brought home a new pet.
Your new furry friend wouldn’t hurt a fly, but there’s still a chance your pet could cause an accidental injury, damage your home, or wreck a neighbor’s property. Therefore, it’s important to tell your insurer about new pets if you want them to pay any claims. Most dogs or cats won’t increase your policy much; however, some exotic pets and riskier dog breeds — like Pit Bulls, Doberman Pinschers, German Shepherds, Rottweilers, Siberian Huskies, Akitas, and wolf-dog hybrids — may have a higher premium.
4. You haven’t filed a claim for several years.
Have you been claims free for at least five years? That’s great news for you and your premium! At Personal Express, we offer discount credits of up to 15% to homeowners who have several years without a claim. On that five year mark, get in touch with an insurance agent to inquire about a lower premium.
5. You remodeled or made repairs to your home.
Remodeling a tired kitchen or bathroom? Adding a secondary suite for a parent moving in? Renovating your home and adding square footage to your living area can increase the value of your property — so you’ll also want to increase your coverage. But before construction begins, update your policy, and ask your insurance agent if you’re covered during major construction. Also, get proof of your contractor’s liability and workers’ compensation coverage since homeowners insurance won’t cover a contractor who is injured on your property.
6. You added a safety feature or two.
Adding a protective device to your home is not only a great way to help safeguard you and your family from harm, it could also earn you a homeowners insurance discount. With Personal Express, you could save up to a certain percentage by adding these safety features:
- Burglar alarms – 7%
- Fire alarms – 7%
- Sprinkler systems – 13%
- Automatic water shut off system – 5%
- Seismic shut-off valve – 5%
- Sprinkler system flow alarm – 2%
- Gas leakage detection system – 2%
- Full-time resident caretaker – 2%
- Whole house backup generator – 2%
- Temperature monitoring system – 2%
- Alarm signal continuity system – 2%
7. You made a major new purchase or haven’t assessed the value of your belongings in a while.
Typically, with a homeowners policy, you’re not only getting coverage for the structure of your home, but your personal belongings are also protected. Therefore, if a fire, windstorm, explosion, or other hazard damages your home, you’ll want to make sure your policy covers the true value of your house and everything inside it. If you’ve made some big-ticket purchases like a new refrigerator, television, or sofa — or it’s been a while since you assessed the value of items like jewelry or antiques that may have appreciated — consider increasing your personal property limits.
8. In anticipation of a hazard.
Did you know most home insurance policies don’t include earthquake or flood insurance coverage? If you’re concerned about what would happen to your home and belongings in case of a flood, earthquake, landslide, sinkhole, sewage backup, or other catastrophe, then it’s time to double check what your policy covers and meet with an agent to insure yourself against these hazards by adding a policy.
9. You’re planning to start a home-based business.
Whether you decide to start a home-based catering company, day care, pet sitting, or wedding planning service, being your own boss can be a rewarding experience. However, it’s important to review whether your homeowners policy will provide enough coverage for your business-related equipment in the event of property damage.
Don’t see your life event on this list? Call Personal Express Insurance at 1-800-499-3612 or visit one of our friendly agents near you for help understanding what else may affect your homeowner, renters, or auto insurance policies.