When Should You Update Your Home Insurance Policy?
A lot of us tend to think of insurance as one of those pay-it-and-forget-it bills – a bit like your cable or your cell phone bill. And while you might decide you need to upgrade your cell phone’s data or get a few new cable channels, you might not think of upgrading or updating your home insurance policy.
We recommend reviewing your insurance policy every year – that way, if you notice that you don’t have enough coverage, you can update your policy. There are also a number of circumstances that should prompt you to upgrade your insurance. Let’s take a look at some of these now:
You’ve made improvements to your home
Permanent improvements to your home can seriously increase its value – and if they do, your homeowner’s insurance may no longer be enough for the full value of your home. You don’t need to update after a paint job, but if you complete a major kitchen or bathroom renovation, or you add a new room or structure, you should update your home insurance.
Some improvements may also add new risks to your home – houses with pools, for example, have a higher risk of taking on water damage than those without pools. If you’re not sure whether or not an improvement warrants a policy update, talk to your insurance broker!
You’ve made lifestyle changes
Have you stopped smoking? You might see a decrease in your insurance premiums. Are you recently retired? Let your insurer know – there are often discounts for retiring. After all, if you don’t need to leave home for work, you’re going to be around more often – and that means less risk of a fire spreading (among other things).
You run a business out of your home
Most home insurance policies are insufficient to cover for home business activities – you may need business insurance. In some cases, however, you’ll simply need more coverage on your home insurance. Either way, a home business changes the risk associated with your policy from an insurer’s perspective, so you should let your broker know.
You’ll also want to report if anyone is renting a portion of your home – you may need landlord insurance.
You got a dog
Is there anything more exciting than getting a new dog? Unfortunately, dogs are sometimes the cause of liability claims – even good-natured dogs can bite when stressed. Most insurance policies cover for dog bites – and your premiums probably won’t be adjusted. Nonetheless, you need to let your insurer know if you got a dog, or liability claims stemming from bites may not be covered.
You got a security system
While dogs can be a security system in their own right, a hard-wired security system is a better bet if safety is your top priority. What’s more, getting a security system may reduce your premium. That’s a win-win.
You acquired – or no longer have – something valuable
There are policy limits for precious items like jewelry and paintings. If you’ve acquired a precious item, contact your broker to ensure you have enough coverage. It’s helpful to make a home inventory list, especially if you have many valuable items, to keep track of whether or not you have enough coverage.
In the same vein, if you sell or give away something valuable, you’ll be able to update your coverage to a lower level and save a bit on your premium.
Want to update your home insurance? Maybe you’re not sure whether or not an update is necessary? Get in touch with us. We offer home insurance in Winnipeg – we can help you understand your policy, and update it if necessary.