14 Dec Reasons to Update Your Home Insurance Policy
During the pandemic, North Central Massachusetts has become a hotspot for real estate. According to a new study, Gardner, Worcester, and Leominster are among Massachusetts’ top 10 easiest places to sell a home. As Anderson, Bagley & Mayo Insurance have been in business for over 100 years in this community, it is no surprise that we are seeing this increase in people wanting to live in this beautiful area of the state.
Whether you are moving or have been in your home for years, 2020 has taught us about the value of being at home. Our homes have become our office, classroom, gym, and playground for many. With this new transition, it’s important to note these lifestyle changes can impact your insurance policies.
Whether you are a new or seasoned homeowner, we’re here to help make sure you are adequately protected, which is why we put together this comprehensive guide about what home insurance is and when you should consider updating your policy.
What is Home Insurance?
Some of the most common issues that tend to affect Massachusetts’ homes include fire, theft, severe weather, ice dams, burst pipes, and fallen trees and branches. With the proper home insurance, you’ll be financially protected in the event that these types of situations damage or destroy your home, other structures on your property, plants, belongings, and more.
And home insurance doesn’t just cover the damages. It includes liability coverage, which protects you from a lawsuit if someone is injured on your property, and it also provides additional living expenses, which helps pay for the costs of alternative housing and other costs incurred if your home becomes unlivable due to a covered event.
When should I review my current home insurance policy?
Since March, there have been several lifestyle changes that homeowners have made during the pandemic. For the most part, your current insurance plan should be sufficient in most cases. However, working from home and facing shortages of certain household products have thrown many homeowners some curveballs. To help understand the benefit of additional coverage on your homeowners policy, we’ve detailed the coverage you should consider for each of these new habits.
Increased Time at Home
The current reality of working from home and children staying home from school could require more liability coverage for your policy. For example, if you or your children have brought high-value electronic devices such as laptops home from school or work, you need to make sure that your policy limit covers the value of all these devices.
With spending time at home also comes less travel this holiday season. If you plan to order food or know packages are coming, remember to take care of your driveways and areas of increased foot traffic on your property. If one of your guests or delivery partners were to slip and fall inside or outside your home and injure themselves, you could be responsible for their medical bills, lost wages, or pain and suffering if they decide to sue you. This is the same for invited and uninvited guests.
According to Houzz, an online home remodeling platform, they reported a 58% annual increase in leads for remodeling contractors in June 2020. If you are considering remodeling your home or renovating your kitchen this year, speak with your insurance agent before you begin the renovation project to determine if you’ll need to increase your coverage limits. If a renovation project increases the cost to rebuild your home, you will want to evaluate your “dwelling coverage” limits with your insurance agent’s help.
With technology playing an ever-increasing role in our day-to-day lives, personal cybersecurity continues to grow in importance. Your network at home may not be as secure as your office IT infrastructure — which means you must be extra careful to avoid falling for a cyber scam. Here are some tips to ensure that you or your business don’t fall victim to cyber threats.
Outdoor Activities Expansion
Making the most of your property can be fun, but remember, there are added risks to adding adventure into your backyard. Roasting marshmallows and sipping hot cocoa by the fire are some of the best ways to enjoy the holidays. If you plan to spend more time outdoors this winter by a fire pit or space heater, keep in mind that space heaters are the second leading cause of home fires. No one expects a fire pit to result in a house claim, but accidents happen. It’s a good idea to discuss with your local agent the fire pit or spaced heaters you’ve purchased, installed, or are planning for and then review your homeowners insurance policy’s coverage to help you determine if any changes are necessary.
Everyone should understand their home insurance policies before they agree to them. Whether you’re a first-time homeowner, an expert house-hunter, or merely looking to reassess your current policy, we’re here to help. There is no place like your home, so let us protect it. Contact your local Anderson, Bagley & Mayo agent today.