The end of the year is a great time to catch up with your agent to review your coverage. Here are just a few benefits of reviewing your insurance on an annual basis.
Reassess Home Value
Most people take out an insurance policy when they buy their home, and then renew it each year. Unfortunately, automatically renewing your policy does not ensure you have sufficient coverage.
The value of your home has probably increased over the years, and your insurance coverage should, too. If you bought your home for $250k and now it’s worth $300k, you have a $50k coverage gap. If you experience a total loss and need to rebuild, your policy may not suffice.
Updated Home Inventory
Most homeowners underestimate the value of what they own. Consequently, preparing a home inventory before your annual insurance review is an excellent way to approximate value.
Many mobile and desktop apps allow you to photograph, records, and find items of comparable value. Providing your inventory during your annual insurance review ensures sufficient, appropriate coverage, especially for specialty high value items.
You may need additional coverage for musical instruments, artwork, jewelry, antiques, sports equipment, or high-end audio or computer equipment – so make sure to tell your insurance agent about any of these items.
Qualify For Discounts
Many home improvements can reduce your insurance premiums, but your insurance company needs to know about them. For instance, a hail-resistant roof, security system, sprinkler system, and other additions often reduce risk and premiums.
Things change and your insurance should too. Perhaps you live in a smoke-free home now or you retired. Maybe you joined a professional organization or union that qualifies for lower rates. Perhaps you want to manage your vehicle and home insurance under one roof.
Your insurance agent may discover many ways to reduce premiums during an annual review. They may also find ways to bundle your coverage for an overall lower cost.
Discover Unknown Benefits
Can you truly say you understand what your insurance covers and where you’re vulnerable? Unless you’re an insurance professional, the answer is probably a resounding, “No!”
Your independent insurance agent can explain your coverage, limits, and exclusions in simple language and recommend what’s best for your particular needs and budget. Tailoring your insurance policy boosts coverage where you need it, and reduces it where you don’t. It can lower costs, because you’re not paying for unnecessary coverage.
Your policy may also include benefits you didn’t even realize you have. For instance, some policies cover a child’s possessions while they’re living in a dorm room or replacing the food in your freezer after a power outage. It may protect you if your dog bites someone on your property. It could also protect belongings while traveling. Your agent can clue you into to perks available to you.
An annual insurance review isn’t time-consuming. Bring your home inventory and other documents such as your vehicle registration if you’re looking to insure your home and vehicle through the same company. One visit or phone call annually ensures that you have the protection that you need at the best available rates.