Homes often grow and change alongside the people living in them. If you’ve added expensive furnishings or made substantial upgrades, it’s important to re-evaluate your homeowners insurance and make sure your policy reflects those changes. Here are four instances when it may be beneficial to review and adjust your coverage.
Remodeling or Renovation Work Home improvement projects typically increase the value of your home, which usually calls for more coverage. But that doesn’t necessarily mean your insurance rates will automatically increase. In fact, some projects, like adding a new roof, may help you save on your monthly home insurance premiums. Just be sure to notify your provider before any work begins.
Adding a Pool or an Outdoor Trampoline Because these fun home features come with increased risk of injury, they’re labeled an attractive nuisance. Upping your liability insurance can help keep you protected if there’s ever an accident on your property and a subsequent lawsuit.
Acquiring New Valuables Whether you inherit them or purchase them, expensive goods such as jewelry, art, rugs and antiques should be added to your policy. Increasing your coverage is the only way to safeguard them in the event of damage or theft.
Starting a Home Business Many home-based business owners don’t realize they have little, if any, coverage from a homeowners or renters insurance policy. Since a new home business likely means purchasing new technology and expensive equipment, you may need to get additional protection.
You worked hard for your home. Secure your belongings by updating your coverage to match your circumstances.
On March 31st, 2014 the historic 1st year of the Health Care Reform Act enrollment will come to a close. As a last reminder, if you are eligible for enrollment this is what you can expect…
IF YOU ENROLL IN A PLAN
- If you currently have a health insurance plan, you will NOT be able to make ANY changes until the next open enrollment. Generally the open enrollment period will be each year between October-December. Any changes made during this time will take effect January 1, 2015.
- If you are still planning to enroll, policies applied for by March 15th will take effect April 1st. Policies applied for between March 16-March 31st will take effect May 1st. As long as you make a decision by March 31st you will avoid the penalty.
- If you qualified for a subsidy (via the marketplace) be sure to check your results. MANY require that you send additional documentation by the end of open enrollment in order to keep your subsidy. The additional requirements can be sent via mail or uploaded to your marketplace account. If you plan on mailing the documents I suggest sending it certified so you have proof that it was received.
IF YOU DO NOTHING
- You will be locked out of being able to join a plan…unless you fall into a special election period (marriage, child birth, loss of coverage, etc). If you’ve chosen this option I recommend purchasing a critical illness/accident plan. It is NOT the same as health insurance but in the event you injure yourself or are diagnosed with a critical illness, the plan will pay you an allotted amount ($5,000-$50,000). The plans start as low as $2 per month for critical illness and $15 per month for accident coverage.
- You can expect to receive a $95 per person ($47.5 per child under the age of 18) penalty on your 2014 federal tax return (this will increase in 2015)
Have you heard about Critical Illness Insurance and Accident Coverage?
- Critical illness insurance is an insurance product, where the insurer is contracted to typically make a lump sum cash payment if the policyholder is diagnosed with one of the critical illnesses listed in the insurance policy (usually cancer, heart attack, or stroke).
- Accident Coverage is an insurance product, where the insurer is contracted to typically make a lump sum cash payment if the policyholder is involved in an accident at work or play (examples include: broken bones, stitches, sports related injuries and general clumsiness).
Since preventative services come standard with ALL plans you are more likely to use your deductible due to a critical illness or injury. The purpose of these plans are to use the funds towards your deductible.
Rates depend upon age and amount of coverage but can start as low as $2.75 per month with $10,000 in coverage.
You may be surprised at what can be saved after it has been damaged from water. The most important tip is to get rid of the water ASAP. The longer the water sits the more of an issue it becomes with mold and the harder it is to repair. Below are some tips to remediating your water damage.
*Remove important items that can be picked up and moved to another room. Once removed from the water dry with a fan.
*Find the source of the water. There may be leaves clogging a sewer or a faulty sump pump. If so, remove the leaves or replace the sump pump. If you need a referral I can provide you with one for immediate sump pump repair.
*Use a dehumidifier or air conditioner to circulate the air and reduce moisture buildup in your basement.
*Confirm that your policy has sump pump/sewer back up coverage, the endorsement will provide coverage for water removal and damaged items.
*Since 1997, the Homeowners insurance industry has suffered more than $50 billion in underwriting losses, according to the Insurance Information Institute.
*The industry estimate for 2012 is a $12 billion underwriting loss.
*A lot of this is due to increased natural catastrophes—there have been an average of 63 natural catastrophes a year since 1997 compared to an average of 32 a year for the previous 16 years (’81-’96).
*And, a lot of it is due to the severe nature of the claims—the severity of catastrophe-related claims is up 200 percent from ’97 to 2011.