It’s a new year – a time to reflect and make changes, a time to get ready for the months ahead. But with all the great resolutions that are made around now, it’s easy to overlook one of the most important: the resolution to make sure your home and your property are protected in the event of a disaster.
We’re going to take a moment to focus on the four most common ways we see property go unprotected, and what you can do to help close those coverage gaps and start the New Year strong and fully protected. Remember, only your insurance provider knows the details about your coverage, and only they will know what’s best for your situation.
Resolution #1: Contents Coverage to Protect Your Personal Property
- Everyone who owns belongings needs contents coverage, especially renters. Contents coverage is insurance for what’s inside a building: appliances, clothing, furniture, and other items. It is often included in homeowner policies, but if you’re not the homeowner, your belongings may not be covered. If you’re renting, look into renter’s insurance, a specific kind of contents coverage designed just for your situation. It is highly unlikely that your personal property is covered by your landlord’s policy.
- Even if you have contents coverage, you might not have enough. Did you get a new TV last year? Or maybe you replaced that old bedroom set with something new from the furniture store? Any time you make a big purchase – or a lot of little purchases – the total value of what you own goes up, and your contents coverage might need to go up too.
- Especially valuable items may require special coverage. Artwork, electronics, jewelry, and other similar items may need additional coverage.
Resolution #2: Flood Insurance for Damage Caused by Rising Water
- Rivers and lakes aren’t the only source of flood water. If it rains and the water gets into your basement through a window, that’s likely to be considered a flood and covered accordingly.
- Flood water isn’t covered by the average homeowner policy. Flood coverage is usually separate, and a lot of homeowners don’t add it. They’re not at risk, they think, because they’re not next to a river or a lake. But when a heavy rain comes and the ground becomes saturated, many of them are in for a nasty surprise and a very wet basement.
Resolution #3: Mold Insurance That Covers Professional Remediation
- Mold can go undetected, even if you’re careful. We’ve had many customers who had no idea that they had mold problems: no odor, no dampness, no visible damage – until they discovered it while doing renovations or treating unrelated problems. Proper maintenance can help prevent mold, but it’s no guarantee.
- Having enough coverage is critical. Even when policies have mold coverage built in, in our experience, the standard amount is not enough to cover the cost of professional remediation. When you’re dealing with mold, it’s especially important to be thorough. Anything left behind can cause the whole problem to come back.
Resolution #4: Coverage for Your Home’s Current Value
- If your home’s value goes up, your insurance probably should too. It’s important to notify your agent whenever you build a new addition on your home or change the structure in any substantial way. If you add value to the home by building something in or on it, the insurance needs to be sufficient to cover that value.
- If you haven’t changed your amount of coverage in years, you may need an increase. Your insurance is designed to cover the cost of repairing or replacing your home. That cost almost always rises each year. It’s not usually a big difference from one year to the next, but over time it adds up.
Do any of these sound like you? If so, check with your insurance agent. A quick conversation now will ensure that you – and your home – have the best new year possible!