This time of year, many of us take some time to reflect on the past 12 months and plan for the coming year in both our personal and professional lives. With the upcoming holiday, many of us have at least a few days off and I'd like to suggest taking just a few moments to review your home insurance policy's Declarations Page.
I know, it doesn't sound like a very festive activity, but let's be honest, how many of us take an annual look at the coverages on our home insurance policies?
The thing is, many homeowners don't ever revisit their coverages after they initially secure coverage, but over the years things change - whether it's home improvements you've made or major market shifts - it's definitely in your best interest to take a moment to ensure your current coverages still make sense.
For example, when your policy is first written, a "Replacement Cost Estimator" is used to determine the approximate amount of funds it would take to replace your current home in the event of a total loss. Current costs of "builder grade" materials and labor are included. Then, if left untouched after your policy is initially bound, an automatic average increase of 3-7% is factored in annually. However, if you've made any major improvements to your home - whether adding on square footage, updating kitchens, bathrooms and flooring materials, adding a pool or screened enclosure, adding solar panels, etc., those additions aren't accounted for in your original replacement costs.
It only takes a moment to review your Declarations page - typically one of the first pages in your home insurance packet. Don't know where it is? Just call us, we'll resend it. We can take a few minutes to review your current coverages and make sure they are still at the right level for your home. …Because you definitely don't want to find out you're underinsured when the time comes to make a claim!
A few other things to think about during this annual look at your policy summary. Fine art, collectibles, pets, money and other securities may only have minimal coverage (or in some cases, no coverage at all) with your current policy and if they have significant value, a separate small policy may make sense to ensure your most precious valuables are covered too.
As always, with this or any other home insurance-related issues, please feel free to reach out to us anytime. We're always happy to talk through your current situation and ensure your coverages are on track!
Pamela Duran is a Personal Lines Account Manager at Wren.