Many people consider Homeowners insurance a one-and-done transaction. You buy a new house, buy Homeowners insurance, pay for it every month, and go on with your life. But meeting with your independent agent annually is a great way to make sure you’re making the most of your insurance and that you’re fully protected in the event of a claim. Here are some questions to ask your homeowners insurance agent every year.
While many people know the types of things that are covered and excluded by Homeowners insurance generally, they may have less insight into what is specifically covered and excluded in their specific policy. Having a frank conversation with your independent insurance agent can help you discover some surprising things Homeowners insurance covers and coverage that may need some action on your part. While Renters and Homeowners insurance often cover dog bites up to the liability limits, for example, many providers require that the dog in question be listed on the signed application before a claim can be made. Some carriers may offer only sub limits or exclude coverage in its entirety for ineligible dog breeds. This annual insurance check-in is a great time to ask any Homeowners insurance questions you have and to make sure you’ve taken all the steps needed to get the coverage you need.
Things can change a lot in a year. Maybe you’ve just gotten a raise at work, bought a new car, or installed a new alarm system. That’s why one of our favorite questions to ask your Homeowners insurance agent is how you can save money on monthly premiums. With a new raise, for example, you may be able to afford a higher deductible. While this means you’ll have to pay more in the event of a claim, you’ll be paying a lower premium throughout the year. Because many insurance policies offer bundling discounts, insuring a car with a company can mean big savings. Many insurance companies also offer discounts for people with certain alarm systems or home telematics that alert you (and the proper authorities) to costly emergency situations.
Rising construction costs and inflation could mean a discrepancy in your calculated home insurance replacement cost and how much it would actually cost to replace your home in the event of a total loss. Checking in on this number every year allows you to make sure you have proper coverage so that you don’t end up in trouble in the event of a catastrophe.
Because Homeowners insurance only provides coverage up to your pre-determined limits, you may want to purchase special coverage to cover the full value of your jewelry, high-tech camera or computer equipment, high-end sports equipment, valuable artwork, and other expensive items.
Now that you know what questions to ask your Homeowners insurance agent, it’s time to schedule a meeting. In the meantime, check out our insurance blog where we cover everything from scheduled vs. unscheduled personal property coverage to how to create a home inventory list.
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