Your homeowner's insurance policy is like a slow cooker. Hear us out — it's one of those things that you set and forget. Then when you need something from it, it's ready and waiting. Think about it, though. You get the policy when you buy your home, and then you don't think much about it until you need to file a claim, right?
Seems pretty hands-off, doesn't it? It shouldn't necessarily be. Your homeowner's policy is something that you want to review annually. After all, your home is probably your largest asset — maybe the biggest investment that you'll ever make. So, it's time to get smart and make sure it's protected exactly how you need it to be as your life and needs shift.
Much Can Change in a Year
- As you start to review your policy, make sure you add on for coverage in areas where you might exceed the limits. And, check deductibles. Review your coverage and weigh the differences in deductibles to make sure you feel comfortable with your policy. Next, consider the following:
- Things change fast. At home, you might be making changes without thinking toomuch about them. Upgrading your media center with the newest screens and sound systems makes your house the one to hang out at for the big game. It might also mean some of this expensive new tech isn't covered properly. Add a she-shed to the yard? Don't get caught without coverage on that new project.
- When reviewing coverage, this is a good time to update your home inventory. If you don’t have a home inventory, now's the time to make one. Record a video of your home, showing all rooms and the contents. Zoom in on serial numbers for appliances and electronics, or keep a list of these numbers in a spreadsheet. Be detailed and make a record of all your belongings. Think of it as a list of everything you'd need to replace in the event of a total loss. When you make big purchases, scan the receipts and store the scans in the cloud online.
- Think about the type of coverage you have. Is it replacement coverage or actual cash value coverage? There's a difference — one pays to replace the item, while the other pays for the value of the item at the time it became a loss, meaning after it's depreciated. Do you have the resources to bridge the gap between the cost to replace and the current value? If not, it might be wise to consider changing to replacement coverage.
- Learn from your mistakes. If you didn't add on coverage for appliances and ended up shelling out a small fortune for repairs, you might want to rethink that decision. Consider the challenges of the year and the potential for losses — even those you avoided. Think carefully about what coverage you might really need to add on. Our Help Center can assist you with this.
- You might be missing out on savings. There are many ways to save on your insurance premiums, from changing deductibles to getting discounts for security systems. If you've made changes to your home that help to prevent loss — such as installing fire-protection systems, monitored alarms, or even automatic leak detectors — see if you're eligible for any savings. Review your deductibles. You may want to lower or increase them depending on how the new devices affect your total insurance cost.
Make reviewing your homeowner's insurance a yearly task. While gathering documents for taxes or just clearing out your desk at the start of a new year, add this job to your to-do list. It doesn't take long but could end up saving you in the long run.
We're here to help you save, too. Find out how Pickle takes the guesswork and confusion out of homeowner's policies.