Many homeowners don’t think of updating their insurance policy as a regularly scheduled home maintenance task. They often purchase a policy when they first buy their home and don’t think about it much after that. But just like cleaning out the gutters and changing the batteries in the smoke detectors, reviewing your homeowner’s insurance policy should be a part of your annual home maintenance routine.
Here are some key steps to take to update your policy every year:
Determine How Much Coverage You Need
The amount of coverage you need can change over time. For example, if you have had a baby or gotten a dog, you will want to add them to your policy. Have you purchased any valuables like artwork or jewelry that should be included? If you are now renting the property do you need landlord insurance? You want to make sure that any changes from the past year are incorporated into your coverage.
Review Deductibles and Premiums
Insurance companies can change your deductibles and premiums from year to year. It’s important to review what you are paying for your policy to make sure you are still getting a good deal. In general, you want to look for the highest deductible you can afford as a high deductible will decrease your monthly premiums. You also want to compare your current premiums to what you paid last year. If you notice that your monthly payment has increased by more than 5 percent, you should call your insurance company to find out why your premiums have spiked.
Also, find out whether you are eligible for any new discounts. If you have recently installed a home security system or a new sprinkler system, you may be eligible for discounts. Many insurance companies also offer reduced rates for bundling your home and auto insurance.
Document, Document, Document
While you are reviewing your policy, you should take this opportunity to get your homeowner’s insurance documents in order. This is a good time to revise your home inventory and update any pictures or videos of your property. You should also organize your receipts and other documentation of home improvement projects. Next, scan everything, including your updated policy, and save it to a thumb drive or a cloud based storage app. Keep the originals in a fireproof box. You want to make sure your documentation is available if anything happens to your home.
If you have any questions while you are reviewing your policy, reach out to the Miles Tax and Advisory team. We are available to discuss overall asset protection. Please feel free to give us a call at 410-685-1406 or email at email@example.com.