Just like you depend on an annual checkup at your primary care physician’s office to make sure that your vital signs and bloodwork look good, your homeowners insurance policy requires a regular exam to determine its health. After all, things change over time. You want to make sure that your coverage limit still works for your needs and that you’re getting the best rate possible on your premiums.
Learn more about conducting a yearly policy checkup with CoverHound, then compare home insurance quotes to get a better idea of your options.
Have You Renovated or Updated Your Home?
Sometimes, change feels so gradual that we barely notice it—a renovation here, an update there, and so on. Suddenly, your home is worth much more than the amount for which your original policy insures it! You must also consider the rising costs of construction, both labor and materials. If you needed to rebuild, would your current policy cover the costs, or would you be reaching deep into your pocket to put a roof back over your head?
When you’re conducting your checkup, get a “new-policy” quote from your agent. This entails recalculating the value of your home (including all updates) based on the most current construction costs available. Pro tip: Asking for a “new-policy” quote will ensure that, even if you plan on renewing your policy, you’re getting the most accurate idea of your home’s worth.
It’s worth noting that some home renovations can actually earn you policy discounts, like replacing an old roof with a new, weather-resistant one or ramping up home security. Ask your agent about discounts, or find a new policy that will reward such proactivity.
Have You Acquired New Possessions?
It’s likely that you’ve brought new possessions into your home since the last time you took a good, hard look at your policy. A healthy homeowners insurance plan must cover them, preferably at replacement value, or “the amount needed to replace a damaged or lost item with one of similar kind and quality, without regard to depreciation.”
This is also the perfect time to update your home inventory, paying special attention to big-ticket items (jewelry, artwork, antiques and technology). You may even find that certain possessions require additional coverage on top of your standard policy. Make sure your inventory includes evidence in the form of receipts, photo, video and/or written appraisal.
Is a Standard Policy Sufficient?
Another area that you’ll want to question the sufficiency of your standard policy is when it comes to natural disasters. Have the flood zone designations for your area changed since you bought your home? Are you worried about the recent intensity of wildfires in your state? It’s important to know what is—and isn’t—covered in a general homeowners policy so you can pick up any extra coverage you need. You may want to inquire about tornado, earthquake or flood insurance to ensure that your policy has you totally prepared for a natural disaster.
The first step to conducting a policy checkup is knowing your plan inside and out. From there, you can work with your agent to update your policy so it covers your current living situation. Or perhaps you’ll find that you’re ready for a new policy altogether. Home insurance quotes from CoverHound can help you pick the best option—and they’re free! Compare coverage today.