Before You Renew: Getting the Most From Home Insurance
Home insurance is something most people don’t think about much; they simply pay it year after year and accept that it’s part of home ownership. But when your home insurance comes up for renewal, you should be giving it a little more attention to make sure you are getting the most for your money – and that it’s covering you properly.
Review Every Time You Renew
Although there may be years when not much changes around your home, there are years when things change dramatically. Major renovations – or even minor ones – can mean a big difference on your insurance. Often people don’t think to notify their insurance company when they do some work around the house, but that means that upgrades to your home might not be covered.
Some things that require changes to your policy include new flooring, new decks, kitchen and bathroom upgrades, and of course any addition that you might put on. Insurance companies base your policy on the reconstruction cost of your home. They have calculated a reconstruction cost from the information provided by you regarding the house. If they have calculated for carpeting as the flooring in your home, you might not have coverage in a claim for that brand-new hardwood flooring. It’s important to review your policy to ensure the details are accurate.
Renewal is the perfect time to take a minute and review all of the information on your policy, and to make any changes that are needed.
The Coverage You Don’t Think About
Home insurance does a lot more than cover you in case of a catastrophe. It includes coverage for your personal property as well as liability coverage that can protect you both at home and away. Making sure you have the best coverage your policy can offer can make a big difference if you face a claim.
While most people choose to carry the basic liability coverage that comes with the policy, increasing it really costs very little and can mean a lot if you ever face a lawsuit. When your policy renews, review the liability coverage you are currently carrying to make sure that you are comfortable with the amount.
The same goes for personal property coverage. Most insurance companies calculate it automatically as a percentage of the coverage for the house, but is that enough? Consider having to replace everything you own, and you might decide it’s worth increasing.
Finding a Better Rate
Of course, renewal is the time when most people take a look at the bill and might wonder if there’s a way to save some money. Just like car insurance, home insurance can also vary widely in cost from place to place, and shopping around can be very beneficial when it comes to getting a better rate.
If you don’t already have your auto and home insurance at the same company, renewal is a good time to think about it. The multi-policy discount offered by most companies can save you a lot of money on both your car and your home insurance when you insure them at the same place.
Changing the deductible on your home insurance can make some difference to your rates, but not usually as large a difference as it does on car insurance. Shopping around may be the better choice to save you on your premiums, although it is worth getting some insurance quotes with different deductibles.
Switching on Renewal
Renewal is the best time to make a change in your home insurance because it simplifies the process. Rather than having to cancel mid-term and face potential penalties, you can make a smooth transition to a new company and simply choose not to renew with the previous company.
Be sure to do your research on the new policy well in advance of the renewal date. That way you won’t have any lapse in coverage and will be able to take your time making the decision. Since most companies send out renewal notices several weeks ahead of time you should be able to get multiple quotes to compare. That way you can be certain you are getting the most for your money out of your insurance policy.
A yearly review of your policy on renewal and a little time spent comparing home insurance quotes is a habit that is well worth the time. It can save you some money both on your premiums as well as if you ever have a claim against the policy. It’s up to you to make sure you’re getting the most out of your home insurance, so when that renewal comes in, take the time to look it over.