The summer months are upon us, and that means it’s a great time to give your Atlanta home insurance policy a once-over. (Well, you could do that at any time of year, but why not sooner than later?) It’s important to keep an eye on your home insurance policy to make sure it still suits your needs. To help you with doing an insurance check, we’ve come up with a list of eight questions to ask yourself. (Don’t worry – this is an open notes quiz. We encourage you to dust off your home insurance policy and use it.)
8 things to check on your home insurance policy.
1. Have you taken a home inventory?
A what now?
A home inventory is basically just a list of all the belongings in your home, plus their value. It’s generally easiest to organize it by room. We know that the idea of wandering around, writing down a list of all your stuff might sound excruciatingly boring, but hear us out.
A home inventory can be extremely helpful. If you ever have to file a home insurance claim, you’ll know exactly what needs to be replaced. It can help make the entire process easier. You can even use your phone and create your inventory in Google Drive.
Plus, if you do file a claim, having a nearly-organized inventory can help add credence to your situation. It’s not that the insurance company doesn’t want to trust you and take your word for it; they’re just leery of insurance fraud.
Pro tip: Include photos and/or videos in your inventory.
2. Do you have enough coverage?
It’s also important to make sure you have enough insurance. It’s a good idea to cover your home for its replacement cost, which is the amount it would take to completely rebuild your house from the ground up. (You have to consider things like materials and construction cost.)
Also, make sure that you have enough coverage for your personal belongings. Replacement cost coverage can help you replace your belongings at today’s prices while actual cash value coverage gives you their depreciated value (which may not be enough to replace them.)
And, of course, you can’t forget about liability coverage. Your liability coverage can help you cover your legal responsibility to someone if they get hurt on your property or if you accidentally damage their property. It can help cover things like their medical expenses and your legal bills if they sue.
3. Do you have all the endorsements you need?
You may need to add endorsements (which are simply additions to the policy that amend coverage) to your home insurance to cover certain losses. For example, sewer back up is typically not covered by home insurance – but you can add a sewer backup endorsement to your policy so you’re protected from this, ah, unpleasantly smelly situation.
4. Are your valuables insured properly?
Many home insurance policies have a limit on the amount of coverage offered for valuables such as jewelry. (Sometimes it can be as low as $1,000.) If you have any expensive jewelry, artwork, valuables, or collections, it’s really important to make sure they’re covered. Have you acquired or inherited anything recently that might warrant getting some more insurance?
5. Have you thought about bundling your home and auto insurance?
Your home insurance and auto insurance can be bundled together if you get them from the same company. Bundling, or getting multiple types of insurance from the same carrier, isn’t just convenient – it’s also a way to score some possible savings. That’s because many carriers offer a decent discount for bundling. It’s definitely something to think about.
6. Do you have all possible discounts?
Speaking of discounts, have you gone on an epic quest for home insurance discounts? You might be able to save money just by qualifying for a discount. Talk to your insurance agent and see if you’ve added all discounts you’re eligible for. Has anything changed recently that could help you get a discount – for example, have you had a security system installed? (This is a common discount.)
7. Have you had lifestyle changes?
Have you had any recent life events happen? Maybe getting married? It’s important to let your agent know about that sort of thing. Also, if you’ve made any significant renovations to your home, it’s a good idea to let your agent know. It may mean your coverage needs to be adjusted.
8. Have you put together a disaster kit?
Okay, maybe this one isn’t strictly insurance-related, but it’s still important. If you don’t have a disaster kit, now’s a great time to put one together! A disaster kit is basically a bag of all the emergency necessities you would need in case a severe storm happened. Include things like non-perishable food, water, clothes, blankets, a flashlight and batteries, a first-aid kit, and so on.
It’s important to ask questions about your Atlanta home insurance policy and make sure that you have the coverage you need to protect your house. So, take the time this summer to go over your home insurance policy!
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