There's no financial investment quite like a house, so having up-to-date property insurance and not ignoring policy renewal notices is really a no-brainer. It is, obviously, easy to forget all the details involved, especially when renewal is automatic. But you never know whenever your home insurance can become a life-saver, so when it will come time for you to renew, you will want to be sure that you're obtaining the coverage you'll need at the best price.
What circumstances might require altering your coverage? Well, if you're renovating or have, for example, built an addition on your home, added appliances or made kitchen and bathroom upgrades, you are going to want that reflected in your policy to ensure that you're insuring the current replacement worth of your home. Should you neglect to do this and then experience damages to any of those upgrades, you will not be able to make claims.
If you've new occupants in your house, just like a partner, parents or kids, you will also wish to notify your insurance provider, as well as if you're now working from home and also have bought new office equipment.
Don't wait for renewal to update your property insurance provider
Some other home-related changes that you will want your insurance policy to reflect include:
- Home repairs
- Major purchases, including art, antiques, and jewelry
- New pets
- A new heating system
- An alarm system that's been installed or deactivated
- A pool or sauna installation
- If you are planning to rent part of or your entire the place to find tenants on the short-term or long-term basis
But don't wait for renewal time for you to make certain your policy reflects these changes. Do it as quickly as possible so you're covered immediately. You'll also be thinking about the bounds of the coverage, and if you feel they could be too high or low, and if you're still confident with your deductible.
The little details matter, too, when it comes to renewal. You will want to verify the names of all those residing in your home, your address, and make sure your payment method is current.
Letting your house insurance auto-renew could mean leaving money on the table
One of the most important reasons you should not ignore your home insurance renewal notices is that it could cost you cash.
It's to your advantage to check if and the way your insurance rates have changed at renewal. If you're not sure why they may have gone up, ask insurance companies. Here are a few reasons your premium might have increased:
- Your coverage has increased
- You designed a claim in the last year, and have an extended good reputation for claims
- Your home has got older, needs upgrades, or continues to be subjected to more risks
- Your credit score has had a dip, and you've become higher-risk within the eyes of the insurance provider
- Overall claims costs have increased all year round because of such things as global warming, resulting in a rise in premiums
Whatever the situation, take it track of your insurance professional or broker, ask questions so you're aware of all changes, and find out if there can be any discounts open to you (for example, in the case of installing smoke detectors), to get rid of coverage you do not need. Renewal is also a wonderful time to reconsider your deductible. Maybe you've gotten a raise, or saved up a beefy emergency fund and are now confident you can pay a greater deductible. That will help decrease your premium.
If you discover another insurance provider offering lower premiums, you might want to cancel your present policy (which you'll do at any time, not just at your renewal). Bear in mind, however, when you cancel before your term is up, you may be charged a problem based on when you get this to change. For this reason whenever you receive your renewal notice after a policy period is the ideal time to make a change.
In general, most owners will receive a renewal notice 30 days before their policy's expiry date, so keep an eye on that period if you want to reassess and size up any changes.
And don't be afraid to look around for a better deal in the meantime. You want to make sure that your property insurance policy is meeting your needs today, not yesterday.