Setting an annual appointment with your agent/broker to review your property’s insurance policy is an excellent way to invest in your preparedness for the future. What you uncover in the process can improve your ability to mitigate and financially overcome a disaster, should one ever occur to your family or business.
Finding gaps in coverage
Gaps in coverage exist when you do not have the right type of coverage or when you do not have enough insurance based on the value of your property and its contents to fully rebuild post-disaster.
There are a few reasons why gaps may exist:
The price of goods and raw materials regularly fluctuate.
Your claim is based on the amount and price of supplies at the time of loss needed to rebuild your property. Therefore, in order to fully rebuild a damaged property your coverage limits must be adequate to cover any increase in costs.
Your valuables and upgrades are not accounted for.
Chances are since purchasing your property you made some changes to it. You’ve likely acquired furniture, electronics, appliances, updated hardware, fixtures, and so on, perhaps you’ve renovated, expanded, or even downsized over the past year. All of these changes should be considered when establishing your policy limits. The chances of you not being adequately reimbursed should a disaster occur, is a risk you do not want to take.
An annual insurance review is the ideal time to ask your agent/broker if you are eligible for any discounts. Life events that may not seem relevant to a property insurance policy may actually save you money.
Your insurance policy and premium should adapt as your status and situation changes. Depending on your insurance carrier, things such as improving your credit score, loyalty, and paying your annual premium versus monthly installments can lower your premium as well.
Having your agent/broker understand your situation can help him or her find you the best possible policy and the best price. You do not want to be paying for coverage you no longer need, or be unaware that you’re not covered enough!
An important reason to keep your insurance policy current is to remain in compliance with any underwriting warranties in your policy application. Failure to update your coverage to reflect important changes such as operating a business out of your home, renting your home, etc. can result in denial of coverage or a settlement due to the omission of important insurance information.
Obtaining peace of mind
An invaluable benefit of an annual insurance review is the reassurance that you will be able to recover financially should a disaster occur. Addressing your insurance gaps, noting changes, and discussing “what-if” scenarios with your agent/broker will put you on track to being prepared for the worst.
Questions to ask your insurance agent/broker:
- Would you be able to completely rebuild your property should a disaster occur with your current coverage in place?
- Is your landscaping, outdoor appliances, outdoor furniture, etc. included in your policy?
- Do you qualify for discounts or reductions?
- Did you make your property safer?
- Security systems installed, fencing in a pool, generators, etc.
- Have you considered if you have exposure to certain disasters that require special coverage? (flooding, earthquake, etc.)
- Has ownership changed in any way?
- Do you work from home?
- Has your business grown?
- Revenue, employees, supplies, equipment, inventory
- Have you purchased anything of extraordinary value such as jewelry, artwork, or collectibles?
- Have you renovated or expanded any of your properties?
- Think additions, new kitchens and baths, finished basements, pool, shed, gazebo
For additional information, visit: