How Often Should I Update My Homeowners Insurance?
The end of the year is once again upon us. As we are mid holiday hustle, homeowners’ insurance is the last thing anyone would want to think about. However, the end of the year is a perfect time to dust off your homeowner’s policy for a quick review.
Renovate Your Home?
If you made any significant improvements to your home, you might want to let your insurance agent know. Most homeowner’s policies are based on square footage and the cost to replace your home. If you added a 600 square foot game this year, not only did your square footage go up, but the home’s value may have changed. Your insurance agent can help you determine if changes made to your home affected the replacement cost value and how to proceed if it did.
Expensive Christmas Presents
Another reason why the end of the year is ideal for an insurance review is that you may have received a fancy present this year, such as a diamond ring, necklace, or watch. If so, give your insurance agent a call to make sure your new goodies are covered. Certain items need to be added or scheduled on your policy and may require an appraisal.
Update Photos and Inventory Records
After a thorough review of your homeowner’s policy, make sure your home inventory photos and records are up to date. This will help if you are ever in a claim scenario. Documenting all of your belongings, appliances, and overall appearance of the home will come in handy if the unexpected should occur.
- Documenting: For expensive and valuable possessions, it’s a good idea to keep purchase receipts and appraisals where appropriate. These things, being paper, won’t survive something like a fire, so purchase a fireproof box in which to keep them or arrange for storage off-site. Ask a friend or relative to hold onto them for you, or place them in a safety deposit box if you have one. Some insurance companies will also scan these items for you and keep them in their computer system for future reference.
- Photographic: One of the most popular ways to keep records of your personal property is to take photographs, and again, keep them somewhere safe. When taking photos of your items, be sure they are clear and where possible get close-up shots of model and serial numbers, especially on electronics. Digital cameras have made it easier than ever to store large quantities of photographs. Additionally, you can back up your photos to a server where they can be kept safe in case they are needed if the original files have been lost or destroyed. Photographs can also be used to document the features of your home so that should it need to be rebuilt, you can return it to its original state.