If there are two key things I want to try and drill into my Nashville neighbors’ minds, it’s this:
— It’s worth it to shop for and compare insurance policies.
— Don’t just set and forget your insurance — you need to keep things updated.
On the latter point: Let’s talk about home insurance.
I can’t tell you how many homeowners I’ve met in Nashville who find a home insurance policy when they purchase their home, then ignore it forever, unless they have to make a claim.
There are a bunch of reasons that’s not the best idea. First, you could be missing out on better rates by not shopping around. But more importantly, you could be leaving yourself with inadequate coverage that doesn’t reflect your home or your situation anymore.
Being under-insured is the norm
These figures bum me out, because I hate seeing homeowners stuck without the coverage they need after a catastrophe occurs.
From insurance data-miners Marshall & Swift: Nearly two-thirds of homeowners in the U.S. would be considered underinsured, by an average of 18 percent. Why homeowners are underinsured differs, but I’d bet heavy on the set-it-and-forget-it approach.
If you have questions about whether your Nashville home insurance is where it needs to be, I’m happy to help — just reach out. But in the meantime, here are a few really good reasons to call your insurance agent, and adjust your policy:
Your home insurance policy should cover what it’d cost to rebuild your home. And as anyone who’s taken on a renovation project knows, there’s a big dollar difference between a formica-and-laminate rebuild and a granite-and-hardwoods rebuild.
If you upgrade your home, upgrade your coverage, so you’re properly protected.
This doesn’t always mean your home insurance premiums will go up — certain upgrades can make your rates go down, like putting in a burglar alarms or replacing your roof. Other additions do usually bring a bump up — especially pools.
Think holistically about this, too. We’re not just talking about kitchens and baths. I’ve found that a lot of homeowners don’t think to call their insurance agent when they take on less HGTV-ish projects like putting in a privacy fence or adding a garden shed. Those can cost thousands of dollars, and you want them covered if a storm rolls through, right?
NEW FAMILY MEMBERS
This goes for furry and not-so-furry additions to your lineup. Your home insurance policy should accurately reflect your household, for a lot of reasons, including liability coverage. Let’s say your 3-year-old dumps red paint all over your neighbor’s expensive couch. Your home insurance should cover it, but if you never updated your policy to reflect the new addition… trouble’s brewing. Same goes if your new dog trips the mailman, and your insurer wasn’t aware of that new dog.
I’m not suggesting that you need to call me after your bi-weekly “whoops I spent $200” trip to Target, but if you buy something particularly big, you’ll probably want to address your coverage.
RENTING OUT SPACE
Your home-insurance situation changes however you choose to rent out square footage — having a roommate move in, putting the basement up on Airbnb, etc. Before you list the place, definitely get your insurance picture sorted.
Some insurers offer discounts to retirees, so if you’re moving into that phase, let’s see if we can’t save you some cash for fun stuff, like golf clubs and cruises.
This is a start — I’d be glad to dig deeper with you, and help you figure out if your insurance picture is where it needs to be, and go over how to keep things updated.
Give me a call or send me an email, or if you’d like a quick start, get an online home insurance quote here. Any other insurance topics you’d like to see here on the Tucker Coverage blog? I’m always eager to see your feedback.