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Did you update or upgrade your home during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Do you need to Update your home insurance  because of Upgrading your home during the pandemic?

The coronavirus pandemic has caused mixed-reactions among people.  Some have hit the bottle, other the books.  Some have stormed Congress and others have second guessed parenthood.

The stay at home orders during the early months, caused people to spend time at home.

Sometimes, too much time at home!

As you sat in your home, looking around at the boring backyard, the dull kitchen, or that old carpet, it may have weighed on you more than if you were not in the house 24 hours a day.

So, in many cases, homes were spruced up in different ways, such as:

  • New appliances were purchased
  • New landscape for the outside
  • Finished basement
  • New paint
  • New carpet
  • Upgraded Cabinetry and Fixtures

You name is we’ve heard it all this year.

Some of us splurged on new fun things for the home like a pool or a trampoline.   Many of us got new pets to spend time with while we were home.

I personally, got more Christmas decorations! (According to my husband, I did not need anymore)

Some of you may have added an addition, finished the basement, or built and office.

So, what does this all mean?

I guarantee you, as these updates and upgrades were occurring it never dawned on you- “I should call my insurance agent.”

Well, you should!

The upgrades in your home could affect the replacement value of the home.  Especially if you upgraded from basic items.  For example,  putting hardwood floors where there was carpet.  Or putting granite countertops where there was formica or tile.

Adding an addition or finishing the basement WILL increase the replacement value of your home.  More of you are working from home these days.  So we have heard of a lot of basements being finished and /or additions being added to accommodate for the newly needed work space.

The fun items like a pool or trampoline increases your risk and your liability exposure.  As your or your kids have friends over to swim or jump on the trampoline, the risk of someone getting injured is increased.

This is a great opportunity to review your liability protection limits.  And the perfect time to  consider an umbrella insurance policy to provide additional limits of liability insurance coverage.

What else is there to consider when installing a pool?

In addition to the liability exposure increase, a pool also is considered another structure on your property for homeowners insurance purposes.  So if you bought a pool, please check you home insurance to make sure your other structures coverage is adequate.  You would not want something to happen to the pool only to find out that you didn’t have enough insurance coverage.

Even that new pet brings some additional liability concerns and should be addressed with your agent.  Some insurance companies even have liability exclusions for certain types of exotic pets and dog breeds.  So make sure to talk to your insurance agent if you bought a new pet.

So, take a moment, think back over the last 9 months, what changes did you make at your home?

Have you talked to your insurance broker about those changes?

If not, now is the time.

Do not find out after there is a uncovered claim that for only a few dollars more a year that problem could have been covered by your insurance.

Another thing, maybe you have added some items that could give you discounts on your insurance, such as:

  • A home generator
  • Alarm system
  • Water mitigation equipment

Are you getting the discounts that you know deserve?  Call your insurance agent to find out.

One last thing, did you start a home-based business?  

Did you know that there is no coverage under the homeowner’s policy for any business conducted in the home?  There are also limitations on the amount of business property that would be covered on the home insurance policy?

So please consult your agent to see what endorsements are available to cover your home based business equipment and operations.  You could even purchase a separate home based business insurance policy.

Huff Insurance is here to be your trusted resource when it comes to protecting your lifestyle.  If you have any question on anything here, or anything else insurance related, please give us a call at 410-647-1111.

 

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