Making Sure You Have the Right Homeowners Insurance Coverage: The Value of an Insurance Checkup

J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo
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Founder of J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo, P.A.

Many folks secure in the notion that they have the right homeowners insurance coverage are bitterly disappointed when their home is damaged or destroyed by a fire, hurricane or other natural disaster or act of vandalism and the insurance company sends them a no coverage determination letter.  Sometimes the source of this disappointment is the failure of the property owner to conduct a regular review of his or her policy and to determine if life changes require modification of coverage.  If you have remodeled your kitchen, constructed an addition, home values have sharply increased, or added a new family member in the form of a dog or other animal, your coverage may need to be modified.  Policyholders can prevent problems by scheduling a regular policy review at least once a year to ensure that their coverage is sufficient given changes in terms of potential perils, risks, and assets.

The first type of change that might merit a policy checkup and impact your premium involves a change in your living situation.  One example of such a change includes new occupants moving into your home along with their personal property.  Similarly, your policy might need to be revised if you have a second home that you decide to turn into a rental property.  When a vacant home is turned into a rental property, an injury to your tenant on the premises or damage caused by the tenant to the property can jeopardize your financial security.

If you decide to move into your beach house, which is a second home, the amount of your premiums might change.  Any change of residence or acquisition of property might justify a policy review with your insurance agent.  These types of changes can necessitate a modification of your insurance coverage or a change in your premium.

Another important reason to obtain a coverage analysis is if you make improvements to your residence.  If you have added a swimming pool, this might increase the value of your home, which makes it worthwhile to increase the limits of your policy.  Because of the increased liability associated with owning a swimming pool, this type of improvement to the property also can justify increasing liability coverage.  When you make improvements to your home, both the amount of your coverage and premium might need to increase.  You should request that your insurance company utilize a cost estimator to confirm you have sufficient coverage.  While policyholders might have concerns about potential premium increases, you should communicate with your insurer about potential discounts and other mitigating cost factors related to improvements.  There are even certain types of renovations that can reduce your premium because they make your home safer.

It is essential that you provide timely notice to your insurance company regarding any improvements.  If your insurance company is not informed of the improvements which affect property value, your recovery for a total loss might not be sufficient to pay for repairing or rebuilding the improvements.  

You can reach Miami Insurance Claims Lawyer J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo by dialing his direct number at (786) 272-5841, calling the main office at (305) 461-1095, or Toll Free at 1 (866) 71-CLAIM or email Attorney Gonzalez-Sirgo directly at [email protected].

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