Well this year has been one for the books! Covid 19 certainly changed so many everyday things in our lives - from having newly coined phrases like “the new norm” and “you’re on mute!” to experiencing major life events such as losing your job and finding a new way to bring in income to the family.
We’ve also seen changes such as seeing your friends only on Zoom, learning with your children the New Math, or, for this writer, Constantly. Being. At. Home.
Being home more often has been good for your homeowners insurance in some ways. Certain exposures have decreased. Families spending more time at home means that there are fewer break-ins and fires and a higher likelihood of catching leaks before damage is caused.
Some of us have experienced other changes that may cause gaps in our coverage such as finding new sources of income, renovating our home or…Constantly. Being. At. Home.
Here's some examples of changes; changes you need to discuss with your insurance agent to make sure you are properly covered:
Am I at home or am I at work?
Many of us are now working from home. This can be a game changer when it comes to homeowners insurance.
Do you now have additional office equipment in order to work from home? The homeowners policy has limitations on business personal property and you may need to increase your coverage or add an endorsement to your policy to make sure those contents are properly covered.
Did you start a home business? Are you a hairdresser or barber that is now having people come to your home for a new do? Americans have had to look to new and inventive ways of doing business and securing an income from our kitchen tables and living rooms.
If you are making products, shipping or receiving products or personal information, insurance companies have endorsements that you can add for increased incidental business property and business contents coverage. If you have customers coming to your home, your homeowners policy will need to be updated or you may need additional coverage.
Did you move? Many people are lucky enough to have a second residence at the beach or in the mountains and have chosen to spend the pandemic there. If you’re going to have to be at home why not your vacation home?! Well, guess what? The vacation home may now be your primary home and your primary home may now be your secondary home and the home that was occupied is now vacant. Did you get that? Insurance Companies may insure your primary home and your secondary home differently. Contact your agent to let them know which is which so that you have the proper coverage on all of them.
Many of us, stuck in the house, have built decks, painted our walls and tackled other repairs.
Did you finish the basement, build a new deck, or upgrade your kitchen counters to marble? If so, you’ve probably increased the replacement cost of your home. The replacement cost is the cost of labor and materials to rebuild your home and the coverage that your homeowners insurance is mostly based upon. Review the replacement cost with your insurance agent – they will guide you to determining the correct amount. Don’t find yourself underinsured if a catastrophe occurs.
Did you put on a new roof or upgrade your electric or plumbing? Call your agent. Many carriers give discounts for these upgrades. You may even qualify for a better rating program.
How did your life change? Like I said, call your agent and tell them about changes you’ve made in your life…that’s the only way we can insure you properly.
Stay safe. Stay healthy. And stay in contact with your insurance agent.
p.s. Don't forget to tell your agent if you're using your car less or if you've taken a defensive driving class. Discounts on your auto insurance always make life a little bit better.