BOULDER – Many of us believe insurance is the kind of thing you set up once and never think about again, but nothing could be further from the truth. Recent reports show that around 60 percent of American homeowners are underinsured, meaning that they could take major losses in the event of a catastrophe. Given last year’s outbreak of wildfires in Napa, California, we thought it was time to remind our readers that updating your insurance isn’t just prudent—it’s absolutely necessary. Here are five signs it’s time to revise your policy.
You’ve Recently Remodeled
Any remodel that increases the value of your home requires an insurance policy update. If you’ve recently made some improvements, from building an addition to installing the latest in smart home technology, you should ensure that your policy protects these investments. Likewise, certain upgrades, like updating heating, plumbing, or electrical systems, could get you discounts on your insurance.
You’ve Upgraded Your Security System
Making your home safer may bring peace of mind, but did you know that it can also make you eligible to receive a discount on your property insurance? Even small security upgrades, such adding an alarm system or fire sprinklers, can earn you a lower monthly premium. Certain providers, like State Farm, may even offer exclusive offers for customers with smart home systems installed.
You’ve Made a Large Purchase
Any big-ticket items you’ve recently acquired should be added to your coverage, which means you’ll need to update your insurance policy. These could be anything from electronics to jewelry to original artwork; regardless, your homeowner’s insurance should be able to cover the loss of any such valuables.
You’ve Changed Your Lifestyle
Many major lifestyle changes require a call to your insurance agent. Retirement, for example, often offers unexpected benefits in the form of insurance discounts. Similarly, if you’ve recently quit smoking, you might find that kicking the habit comes with positive effects on your policy in addition to your health. And in the event of a change to your marital status, you’ll want to make sure your policy reflects any shift in property value.
You Live in a Disaster-Prone Area
It may come as a surprise, but most home insurance policies don’t include coverage in the event of a flood or earthquake. Here in Boulder, Colorado, many homeowners without adequate coverage had to pay exorbitant out-of-pocket costs to repair damages caused by the 2013 flood.
Even if you haven’t made any recent changes to your home or lifestyle, it’s important to review your insurance policy regularly. Not only will you be protected in the event of a disaster, but you could be eligible for some favorable discounts, as well.
By Jennifer Egbert. Jennifer is a Realtor at Porchlight Real Estate Group and specializes in Luxury neighborhoods, home builders and current market conditions. To learn more about the Boulder real estate market, visit jenniferegbert.com, e-mail [email protected] or call 303.619.3373.