Reviewing your insurance when it comes up for renewal should be a routine process that everyone goes through. But we all know that’s not the case! This becomes even more important if you’ve had your insurance in place for years but haven’t looked at it in quite some time. Your home might not be covered properly, your liability limits might not be sufficient, and you might not be taking advantage of new features your company has come out with over the years. These, and the following examples, are just some of the gaps in coverage that could have significant consequences when it comes time to make a claim.
1. Home under-insured: this is something that is very easy to overlook. Although the coverage increases on your home automatically every year, if you’ve had your policy for a while and done any sort of significant renovation, or added an addition, and didn’t tell your company or agent, you could run into the possibility of not having enough coverage to replace your home.
2. Insufficient Liability: we’ve stressed the importance of liability before, and will keep doing so, because it really is the most important coverage you can have! If you haven’t looked into this for a while, but you’ve accumulated more assets, gotten married, had children, received a promotion at work, or have seen your net-worth grow over the years from your hard work, it’s time to see if you need more liability.
3. Identity Theft Protection: this is a feature that most companies offer now on their home policies that most of the time will reimburse your costs, up to a certain limit, for restoring your identity. And in some cases, will offer assistance and guidance to help restore your identity.
4. Workers Compensation and EPLI for domestic help: have a nanny or au pair? Maybe an in home health care worker? If they get injured on the job, you might be on the hook for their lost wages if you’re not carrying a workers compensation policy for them. Have they left but are claiming unfair termination, or worse, sexual harassment? EPLI, as offered by some companies, can help protect you by offering legal help in case this happens.
5. Recreational Vehicles: owning an ATV, or a snowmobile, or even a golf cart, might not seem like it would have significant insurance implications. But any one of those vehicles could certainly injure someone. Make sure your umbrella policy properly covers these items to protect you from these lawsuits.
6. Disability and Life Insurance: if the main breadwinner in your house were to ever get seriously injured and couldn’t work, or passed away tragically, how would the bills get paid? Taking out a disability insurance policy could help pay for those day-to-day bills until that person is back on their feet, while life insurance would cover bills, plus major expenses like the mortgage, or child care, if anything more serious were to happen.
7. Scheduled Jewelry and Valuables: if you have any high value items that you are not insuring on your policy, you might not get the correct value for the item if anything ever happened to it. Lost the item? Most standard homeowners policies will not cover jewelry if it’s lost. Scheduling jewelry and other valuables helps ensure that you get the correct value for them, gives you additional coverage, and keeps you from having to pay a deductible for the loss.
Insurance companies are always coming out with new features that can be added to policies, some you would never expect a home or auto insurance policy to cover! Checking your policies on renewal, or simply giving your agent a call for a quick review, could really help to make sure, as much as possible, that you have all of the coverage you need.