When should you shop for your Rhode Island homeowner’s insurance? It’s obvious that you’ll need it when you buy a new home, but other occasions should also prompt you to revisit your homeowner’s policy. Here are several scenarios when you may need to review your insurance coverage.
You Live in a High Risk Area
If you already live in a home in an area susceptible to flooding or other natural disasters, you need coverage beyond a typical homeowner’s policy. You’ll need to consider purchasing flood insurance and also maybe earthquake insurance.
You should have replacement coverage for your home and its contents, including the cost of any special features not typically found in similar homes.
You Renovated or Expanded Your Space
Renovating your home can increase its value, leaving you with inadequate coverage.
If you increase the square footage of your home by adding on an addition or renovating unused attic or garage space, you’ll need additional coverage. If you’re contemplating work, speak with your insurance agent beforehand. You’ll want protection during the construction period, because disaster can strike anytime.
Some renovations can lower premiums significantly, too. For instance, a new roof can cut premiums by 10 to 20 percent. Your home’s roof protects the structure from rain, wind, snow, and hail, so when it’s in pristine shape you’re less likely to make an insurance claim.
Here in Rhode Island, we’re no strangers to hurricanes. You may receive deep discounts if you upgrade the shingles, install hurricane straps or take other preventative measures. The discounts vary from company to company and where your home is located, but measures to reduce risk usually mean you pay less.
If you upgrade the electrical or plumbing during a renovation, you may also qualify for a discount as these systems will be less likely to cause water damage or fire issues.
You Added A Pool
Enjoying a pool during the hot summer months is a great way to have fun and cool off without having to make the drive to South County to get to the beach – but did you know your insurer also considers it very risky? A pool is what the insurance industry calls an “attractive nuisance.” It draws others to your yard and increases the possibility of injury and death.
Your insurance agent will probably recommend a personal umbrella policy (PUP) for coverage beyond your homeowner’s policy. The Insurance Information Institute suggests a policy with $1 million of liability coverage for pool owners. The policy may also require you to fence in the pool area. A pool can also increase the value of your home, so you may need more overall coverage, too.
You Run A Home-Based Business
Your existing homeowner’s policy may protect you up to a certain limit, but it’s usually only about $2,500. If you carry stock or supplies or you use specialized equipment, discuss your coverage with your agent. They may suggest you add a rider to your policy to bolster your existing policy.
If your clients come and go from your home often, you may need a separate business policy. A separate policy can increase your protection against liability if someone injures themselves on your property.
If you haven’t updated your insurance coverage in some time, it’s always wise to call your insurance agent for a review. The purpose of insurance is to protect you against loss, but it cannot do so if you have insufficient coverage. Proper coverage provides peace of mind and financial compensation when you need it most.