An Annual Home Insurance Review — When, Why, And How
Do you conduct an annual assessment of your home insurance? If not, now is the time to start a schedule. How and when should you conduct your annual review? Here's what every homeowner needs to know.
Why Review Your Home Insurance?
Insurance protection is only working best when it meets your current needs. However, many people don't give a lot of thought to their insurance policy after buying it. So it may be several years old — during which time, your situation has changed.
For instance, your property may have risen in value due to local real estate markets. Or it could be worth less now due to things like natural disasters in the area. You may have acquired new things which may or may not be covered. Or you might even be paying for a coverage feature you no longer need.
When Should You Review Insurance?
The most obvious time to review your insurance needs is when an annual policy comes up for renewal. This can be a great time because the insurer will often send documents showing what you currently include in coverage.
However, the timing of your annual renewal may not be a great time for you personally. Does the policy renew during a busy time of year at work, over the holiday season, or when many other bills come due at the same time? If so, you may forget or not have the time to do an annual audit.
If renewal isn't the best time, there's no reason you can't reassess your coverage at any other time of the year. Look for a big calendar landmark that's easy to remember, such as the end of the year or your anniversary. This helps you keep to the schedule.
What Should You Assess?
So, what should you look for in your review? A few of the most important elements are:
Is your coverage limit appropriate for your home's current value?
Can you afford the deductible? Or can you even afford a higher one?
Have you added or removed any structures or expensive personal property?
Are all household members listed, if necessary?
Do you have any attractive nuisances which affect coverage?
Do you plan any special situations, such as hosting a wedding or extended travel?
If you're not sure what to look for, a good insurance agent can help guide you.
Where Should You Start?
If it's been a while since you looked at the details of your home insurance policy, start by meeting with an insurance agent in your state. They'll work with you to ensure your coverage always meets your needs without emptying your pocket.