It was great, wasn’t it? Signing along that dotted line, happy you’d picked a solid home insurance policy at an affordable price, knowing your home would be protected if disaster struck? But insurance needs change, and it’s crucial to make sure your coverage changes with it.
Here are six times in your life when you should re-assess your home insurance policy:
When you get a new place
This may seem obvious, but don’t forget to speak with your insurance provider when you move, whether it’s out of Mom and Dad’s house or into the dream home you’ve spent a decade saving for. A policy for one property doesn’t transfer to another, since the insurer has to look at the risks for each one: the likelihood of natural disasters, safety concerns, and any structural, electrical, or plumbing problems.
When your significant other moves in
Along with their Grilled Cheese Thursdays and fantasy football obsession, your partner will bring a lot of stuff into your shared home. Make sure all those belongings are covered by your insurance policy, and take the time to look at category maximums. If your fancy bicycle is worth $3,000 and that’s all your insurance will cover, it might be a good idea to buy separate coverage for bae’s bike. And should the roomie situation progress to anything more, call your provider and make sure that engagement ring is covered.
When you start a new job
After you’ve settled in to your new gig, take a peek at what benefits your employer or professional association offers, and you could score a discount on premiums. If you start your own business or plan to work from home a lot, you might want to buy home business coverage so any damage to tools and inventory is covered, along with liability claims from clients or colleagues.
When you buy
The move from tenants’ insurance to homeowners’ insurance is an important one. When you’re renting, your landlord’s coverage will take care of damage to the property—you’re just responsible for insuring your personal belongings and getting liability protection. As the proud owner of a house or condo, you’ll need to think about what level of protection you want for building damage, and whether you want to invest in alarm systems, sump pumps, and other damage-preventing tools that could reduce your premium.
When you renovate
A beautiful new basement may mean you’ll have a place for the in-laws to stay over Thanksgiving, but it also means it’ll be a lot more expensive to replace should anything happen to your home. After a major renovation, check the replacement value in your insurance policy, and make sure it will pay to re-do the renovation.
When you become a landlord
Renting out the basement apartment to a graduate student? Making extra cash on Airbnb? Make sure it’s covered—you don’t want to use that sweet side hustle money to settle a lawsuit from a disgruntled guest who slipped on the porch. And renting out your property may violate the terms of your policy, so your insurer could deny even a non-related claim.
To estimate your insurance costs, get a home insurance quote.
- 8 Home Features That Will Raise Your Insurance Premiums
- When Do You Need to Buy Additional Contents Insurance?
- 6 Steps to Create a Home Inventory That Makes Insurance Claims Easier
Flickr: Jessica Wright