Does my homeowners policy give me the coverage I need?

| October 29, 2019

Has your homeowner's insurance kept pace as you transitioned to owning one or more higher valued homes?

Imagine a new homeowner buying a first home.  A standard policy was probably adequate at that time. Over time, they move into larger, more customized homes, grow their family and purchase things like motorcycles, boats, or RVs—but they never update their coverage. They may not realize that their risk profile has outgrown the protection offered by their one-size-fits-all, mass-market policy. This leaves critical coverage gaps that could create large, unexpected expenses and leave them unprotected.

Homes in the $500,000 and up range often have unique, custom finishes, antique or one-of-a-kind furnishings, or even historic elements that aren’t covered in a mass-market homeowner's policy. If a homeowner must rebuild their home after a loss, the additional expenses may exceed the building amount. Coverage like extended dwelling coverage and building ordinance or law coverage will help ensure that customers with this type of home can fully rebuild after a loss and maintain their home’s personality and unique charm. 

Homes with higher replacement costs are not only unique dwellings, but the properties are usually personalized with landscaping or mature plantings. When these are damaged during a storm or other loss event, a mass-market homeowner's policy may not offer enough coverage to remove the debris and cover the cost of replacing the original landscaping.

Additionally, these homeowners may have valuable property items in their homes, such as art, jewelry, custom furniture or collectibles that exceed the limits on mass-market homeowner's policies or are even excluded on more generic coverage. 

A homeowner may also be active in the local community, serve on non-profit boards or host events in their home. They may also have multiple homes or specialty vehicles. All of these situations point to added liability or property coverage needs.

Its important to your financial well-being to make sure your insurance policy is keeping pace with you in your home-ownership journey. Talk to your agent regularly, and don’t skip the annual sit-down review. Your insurance agent will ask questions that help them identify ways your policy should be adjusted, coverage added, deleted or modified.

For instance, is your mortgage paid off?  You’ll want that removed from your policy before you have a claim and find the check has been paid to your old mortgagee. Is your child off to college?  You may have coverage for the dorm room or need to add coverage. Did you start a home business? Add a dog to your family? 

Keep in mind that insurance coverage is not one size fits all. Make sure you call or stop in to see your insurance agent at least once a year, and anytime you make a change that changes your assets or increases your liability.  

Content provided in part from our partners at Safeco Insurance