Your home insurance renewal checklist
When your home insurance renewal notice comes in the mail, do you file it away and let your coverage remain the same, year after year? You're not alone. But it's unlikely that you're in the same position today as you were when you first bought your policy — and that renewal notice is a great reminder to think about how your needs may have changed, whether or not your existing coverage is still enough, and new ways you could be saving money on your insurance. When you receive your next renewal notice, consider these six factors before just filing it away.
- Don’t miss out on discounts. Did you know you could qualify for discounts on home insurance if you've recently paid off your mortgage or installed a home security system, a monitored smoke detector, a sump pump, a backwater valve, or a new roof? These are just a few of the discounts you may be eligible for, depending on your location and your insurer. Be sure to ask your group's broker about all of the home insurance discounts available to you.
- Take stock. If it’s been a while since you've updated your home inventory, take a walk through your home and make sure all of your valuables are on the list. Remember that there are likely special limits in your home insurance policy for items like fine arts, jewelry, and collectors' items. Review the limits outlined in your policy and reach out to your licensed broker if you need to add additional coverage for that recently acquired Rembrandt or ruby ring.
Bonus tip: If you were lucky enough to receive a big-ticket gift like an autographed football, a bike, or computer software last Christmas, make sure it's covered by your home insurance policy. Many high-value items are subject to special limits and you may need to purchase additional coverage. Learn more about insuring your big-ticket gifts.
- Revisit your liability limit. If something in your life has changed that may increase the chances of someone being injured on your property (maybe you have a new pet or you've installed a swimming pool, for example), it's a good idea to revisit your liability
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liability limit at renewal time. Learn more about how liability coverage works and talk to your broker to explore your options.
- Discuss changes with your partner. If you got married before your renewal, you may be eligible to bundle your multiple insurance policies for additional savings. You should also discuss insuring your engagement rings and wedding bands, as you may need extra coverage for these items on your home insurance policy. If you're not married and your partner recently moved in, reach out to your licensed home insurance broker to see if they're covered under your existing policy.
- Mind your business. It’s important to talk to your broker when you first start a home-based business, but if you've recently taken on a new entrepreneurial venture and haven't yet crossed that off your list, now's the time to do it. Your broker can connect with your insurance company and make sure you have the coverage you need.
- Remember your renos. You may have already talked to your broker about recent renovations you've completed in your home, but if you haven't, be sure to do so before you renew your policy. Your renovations may have changed the value of your home (meaning you might need to increase your coverage), or you could be eligible for new discounts.
These are just a few of the things you may want to consider when renewing your home insurance policy. You could also think about increasing your deductibles, bundling your home and car insurance policies, or seeing if you qualify for discounted insurance through your school, employer, or association to lower your premium. Next time your renewal period rolls around, reach out to your group's licensed broker to make sure you have the coverage you need to protect what matters most.
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