Most people tend to disregard their snail mail these days and their home renewal packages are usually of no exception. In reality, these packages should be reviewed to ensure you are getting the most of what you’re paying for with your insurance. So consider these 5 things when you receive your next home renewal notice before filing it away.
- Don’t miss out on discounts! New roof? Recently paid off the mortgage? New home security system? Installed a water sensor? Increase in credit score? These are just some examples of improvements that could qualify for discounts and sometimes, significant changes to your home insurance premium. Be sure to ask your broker about all of the discounts available to you.
- Changes to contents. Have you purchased anything of high value this year like art or jewellery? Has any of your contents appreciated or depreciated significantly this year? Anything of value over $10k should be scheduled individually to guarantee full replacement value if it is lost or stolen. Review the limits outlined in your policy and reach out to your broker if you need to add additional coverage for that recently acquired Picasso or diamond earrings.
- An umbrella policy is a good idea. Most insurance companies will offer you (sometimes automatically) the option to extend your liability insurance with an umbrella policy. When you bundle home and auto you can purchase excess liability that will extend to either policy in the event of a claim. Courts today tend to award damages that far exceed the $1 million liability limit on most insurance policies. An umbrella policy, which adds (over and above your existing limits) liability amounts in increments of $1 million up to $5 million to your two policies, could mean the difference between breathing easy and bankruptcy.
- Planning a renovation? You may have already talked to your broker about recent renovations you’ve completed in your home or have taken out a Builder’s Risk policy. But if you haven’t, be sure to do so before you renew. Your renovations may have changed the value of your home (meaning you might need to update your coverage), or you could be eligible for new discounts.
- Revisit your liability limit. Have you made any changes to your home that may cause higher chances of someone being injured on your property? Maybe a new pool was installed or a patio step has become loose. It is always a good idea to revisit your liability limit or discuss any changes you may think are relevant with your broker at renewal time. Because of the minimal cost difference we have seen more and more liability limits in the $2 million and even $5 million range. Learn more about how liability coverage works and talk to your broker to explore your options.
Get a licensed Broker to annually review your policy to ensure that your personal needs are always properly risk managed.