January 27, 2021
When was the last time you updated your insurance policies? Many people handle insurance with a “set it and forget it” approach. Not ideal; especially when year over year changes may leave you vulnerable.
The start of the new year is a fitting time to assess your existing policies and identify any gaps in coverage that could be putting your assets at risk.
You can begin the process by starting a home inventory that includes your prized possessions like antiques, art, or jewelry, and any recent improvements. It is a good idea to maintain proof of value with your home inventory list, such as store sales receipts, purchase contracts, and appraisals. Write down as many details as possible and take pictures or a video.
While you are at it, look at your automotive needs. Is your coverage still appropriate for the age and value of your vehicles? Do you have new drivers in your household? What changes have there been this year? List out the limits, deductibles, and primary driver designations.
Once you have your inventory, bring it to an account manager at Avery. Our approach to coverage analysis is very consultative in nature. We will ask you several questions to gain a better understanding of your circumstances and how your needs might have changed.
Things we will review:
Is your current deductible level pragmatic for your situation? Let’s face it, just because you experience a loss does not mean you are going to file a claim. Review your parameters and consider what level is practical for you.
Replacement Costs or Actual Cash Value
Which did you choose? If you experience a loss, claims are paid out based on one of two settlement methods:
1) Replacement cost is based on the actual value of replacing or rebuilding.
2) Actual cash value is equal to the replacement cost minus any depreciation.
The pandemic has many families making home improvements and expanding outdoor living space. Does your existing coverage include these investments? Your limits should be reviewed and increased to reflect any enhancements.
Standard homeowner’s policies do not cover floods, sewer backups, or thefts of expensive valuables. Turn to your home inventory. Asterisk any antiques, art collections, or special items and associated values so when you talk to your agent you know these items are properly covered. Don’t forget to add any new gifts from the holiday season to your home inventory.
Unless your home is in a high hazard flood zone, you are not required to carry flood insurance. Fun fact: according to FEMA, more than 20 percent of flood claims come from homes located outside of a high-risk flood zone. Avery will review the flood maps and make suggestions considering your proximity to high hazard zones.
Finally, Avery will explore areas where you may be able to save on insurance costs: alarm system credits, multi-policy considerations, safe driver programs, good student discounts, etc.
A policy review doesn’t have to be overly complicated or time-consuming. A conversation or a visit with one of our agents can ensure you understand your coverage and that you are confident your limits are meeting your current needs.
Call Avery today to schedule a review of your current insurance program. (603) 766-3733