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 people secure in the notion that they have homeowners insurance are bitterly disappointed when their home is damaged or destroyed by a fire, hurricane or other natural disaster or act of vandalism.  The source of this disappointment is the failure of the property owner to conduct a review of his or her policy and modify coverage when circumstances change.  If you have remodeled your kitchen or purchased a new Pit Bull, the failure to revisit your insurance coverage can leave you exposed when disaster strikes.  Policyholders can prevent problems by scheduling a policy review at least once a year to ensure that their coverage is sufficient given changes in terms of potential perils, risks and assets.

As a Miami homeowners insurance attorney and former adjuster, I have provided some suggested changes that warrant a policy review.  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 policy, 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 like an extra bedroom or bathroom.  

If you have questions about Miami property damage claims, you are welcome to contact my Miami insurance claim law firm.  My law firm represents policyholders in claims disputes in Miami and throughout Florida.  The Law Firm of J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo, P.A. offers free consultations and case evaluations.  No Recovery, No Lawyer Fees.  Call 305-461-1095 or Toll Free 1-866-71-CLAIM.

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