Each year in April, I receive my home and auto insurance renewal policy. I check it to make sure that there's no coverage changes that were made on my policy, and then I check to see what the rate has done over the past year. Being in the industry, I do have an idea of what is coming every year, but it's still good to check out your policy and refresh your brain on your coverages.
What do you do when your policy arrives? My guess is if you’re like most people, you take a quick glance and then file it away until it’s needed.
Because life is constantly changing, it’s wise to review your policy more frequently. Here are some times when you should review your policy.
1. Policy Renewal.
- Is there any documentation from the insurance company that indicates a coverage change?
- Does it make sense to increase my deductible in an attempt to save money?
- Do I need additional policies such as special endorsements, earthquake, or an umbrella policy?
- Do I qualify for discounts? Many companies that we represent offer discounts for:
- Safe and accident free drivers;
- New and updated homes;
- Multi-car families;
- Resident students; and
- Anti-lock brakes.
2. Do it yourself projects (DIY).
Lastly, a new roof is a big investment. Many insurance carriers charge more for homeowners insurance if a roof is older. Replacing the roof could change your coverage from actual cash value to replacement cost. Replacement cost provides the coverage you need to replace your roof, while actual cash value provides coverage for the value of the roof at the time it’s replaced; it takes into account depreciation of the shingles.
All these changes should be reported to your insurance agent.
3. Other improvements made to your home.