It is definitely a great idea for you to keep tabs on your insurance coverage at regular intervals, to be sure that your coverage is actually toe-to-toe with the repair or rebuilding cost for your home. If you make upgrades with time, you could be liable to pay higher premiums, but it is imperative that you are covered adequately so that you don’t have to pay huge bills out of your own pocket all of a sudden.
A number of factors come into play when it comes to deciding insurance and premiums. These are:
Materials Used during Construction and Age of House
Your home becomes more and more susceptible to the elements and other deteriorative factors as it gets older. Depending on the quality of material and design put into it during construction, the actual time and extent of damages will definitely vary. The cost of replacement or rebuilding will go up with time.
Remodeling the Home
Remodeling and interior decoration is a constant and ongoing process which never really stops after you shift into a new home. If by remodeling the kitchen or bathroom or making improvements to the overall condition of the house, you add value to it, you should definitely ensure that the homeowners’ insurance coverage you are under, takes each of them into account. Since the renovations are expensive for you, they will also cost the insurance company a fair amount of money if they need to be rebuilt. Costs of construction and labor will be factored in, as well as the cost of materials, which will eventually increase your premium, but will at least keep your coverage up to date.
You can curb increases on your potential premiums by providing proof of your stove having been installed by a licensed contractor to the agency. It is also sensible to install smoke detectors all over your home and also keep fire extinguishers in accessible locations.
Trampolines and Pools
These features are affectionately termed “attractive nuisances”. While they are a lot of fun, and can be a welcome change from the monotony of your daily life, it is worth noting that they can both lead to serious accidents and injuries, for which you will be held liable, and your insurance premiums will increase. It makes sense to secure your trampoline with nets and your pool with fences and gates, and also keep safety equipment handy, just in case.
Running a business from home would mean requesting coverage for vehicles, inventory, electronics and equipment. The coverage will vary from one policy to another and could easily fall short. If you have a heavy footfall of customers daily or weekly, you would be liable to incur risks and property loss issues which may not be covered by standard home insurance. It is a good idea to add an endorsement to the policy or to get an entirely separate business owners’ policy.
Safety and Security
The installation of home security systems adds not only an extra protective layer for you and the residents of the house, but also reassures the insurance providers and hence may drive down the premiums. It is a good idea to replace the increasingly obsolete locks with new electronic systems.
If you own a dog or any other pet which is considered to be of an aggressive breed you could run the risk of facing next to no coverage. As many as 50% of dog bites take place on the owner’s property and these account for 33% of all liability claims.
Past Insurance Claims
If you’ve filed a number of claims in the past, you could be viewed with an eye of suspicion by the insurers, who would consider you to have a higher perceived risk. In the long run, this could mean you not only pay high premiums but could also lose out on your policy entirely.
You should definitely stay in touch with your insurance agent to keep tabs on your coverage on at least an annual basis. In some situations, it could make sense to combine policies, as this could earn you substantial discounts. You could purchase additional umbrella liability insurance schemes which would protect you against claims exceeding your coverage. They offer more than $1 million in coverage depending on the case.