One of the most exciting times in life is purchasing a new home, whether it’s your first starter home or your final retirement home. It’s an investment of money, but more importantly, it’s a commitment to family, life, and love. Purchasing the appropriate homeowners policy is the first step to protecting your investment, but continuing to update the policy as you make any substantial life changes is what will give you the peace of mind that your investment is fully protected.
Most of us know that at its core, a homeowners policy covers damage to your property as well as offering liability protection for you, subject to certain exclusions and conditions. As time moves on, you will acquire new possessions and make life changes that may outdate your current homeowners insurance contract.
Here are a few life changes that may require modification to your insurance coverage:
- Marriage or life partnership. You may need to add your new wedding ring, your new spouse/family member, or their belongings to the policy.
- Getting a pet. Some breeds of dogs or exotic pets may cause concern for your insurance carrier. It’s a good idea to check with your insurance agent before bringing a four-legged loved one into the family dynamic.
- Buying a new toy such as a boat, golf cart, or trampoline may require an update to your policy. Some insurance carriers may have stipulations when adding these.
- Home renovations or remodeling. Coverage may need to be increased for new a home addition, deck, or patio.
- Home rentals. Options like VRBO, HomeAway, and Airbnb may seem attractive from an income standpoint. However, they may negate coverage under your existing policy. The same is true if you decide to rent your home rather than sell it. The type of policy to ensure that type of situation is different than a traditional homeowners policy. In either of these instances, please consult with your insurance agent.
- Home Vacancy. If your home is vacant for an extended period of time, your coverage may be in jeopardy. Please consult your policy and/or insurance agent for guidance.
The bottom line is that it’s important to review how your life has changed over the years and if your homeowners insurance has kept pace.