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An Insurance Education, Part 3: Policy Review and Renewal Tips

An Insurance Education, Part 3: Policy Review and Renewal Tips

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For a homeowner, understanding what to look at when choosing and customizing a policy is vital to getting proper coverage. This is the third article in a four-part series designed to help you get the best policy possible.

This week, we’ll look at things to review on an annual basis, preferably right before your current homeowners insurance policy comes up for renewal.

Annual Reviews

Your agent may schedule an annual review with you, or they may not. If not, you can request a meeting to review your coverage. Before meeting, do your homework and gather as much information as possible about your home and personal property, taking special note of changes since your last insurance policy renewal.

Personal Property

Have you made any expensive purchases over the past 12 months? If so, you may want to consider discussing these items with your agent, as you may be able to schedule them onto your homeowners policy.  Your standard homeowners insurance policy (HO3) will cover personal property up to a limit, with some classifications of items containing sub-limits, but items like the following could have a value that exceeds these coverage limits:

  • Collections of fine art
  • Expensive jewelry, precious stones, watches, or silver plate
  • Silverware, silver-plated ware, goldware, gold-plated ware and pewterware

A scheduled personal property endorsement can help you protect your valuable belongings, providing coverage if they are lost or stolen. Update your home inventory before your review so you can discuss coverage for these and other items.

Home updates

Many discounts are available for homes that have been updated to make them more secure or structurally sound. If you have increased your home’s value significantly, done major upgrades to basic systems, or instituted changes that prevent damage or home invasion, you could need expanded coverage or might qualify for premium credits.

Talk to your agent if any of the following apply:

  • You installed a new roof, or you have a hip roof
  • You added wind mitigation upgrades like storm shutters or reinforced garage doors
  • You updated your electrical or plumbing systems
  • You implemented a new security system
  • You added a pool and pool enclosure to your home

Tell your agent about updates to your home. You could find out that there are hundreds of dollars in premium credits you are entitled to.

Finally, if you don’t have Olympus, ask your agent to give you a quote so you can compare and contrast between carriers. You can use the Olympus coverage checklist to highlight key areas where coverage may differ.

Next week, we’ll look at how endorsements can increase your homeowners coverage.

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