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Jan 13, 2021

Insurance Policy Checkup



Life’s Changes Can Impact Your Insurance Coverages. Use Our Insurance Policy Check-Up Guide to Ensure You’re Properly Protected

After a new year begins, it's a good idea to complete a comprehensive insurance policy checkup. Marriage, adding a new driver, or home improvements can all impact your insurance policies.  Whether it be your home, auto, or business- an annual insurance checkup is the best way to ensure you have coverage that suits your needs and that you’re getting it at the right price.

Home Policy Check-Up



An independent agent can be an excellent resource when it comes to making sure your insurance meets your needs. You may look to your agent for help navigating coverage options such as mechanical breakdown, service line coverage, guaranteed replacement cost, flood insurance or umbrella coverage (personal excess liability). An agent can also help identify specific items you own that may need to be scheduled on your homeowner policy. Jewelry, fine art, high value bicycles or golf clubs, certain recreational vehicles are all good examples of what should be scheduled on to your homeowner policy to ensure they are adequately covered. If items that were previously scheduled have been sold, they should be removed so you’re not paying for coverage on items you no longer own. 

Home renovations which improve the quality or increase the square footage of your home are another reason to reassess your policy. If you’ve started a home-based business, it’s important to know, business operations are not typically covered without being endorsed on to your policy. In some cases, you may end up needing a separate commercial insurance policy.

If you are renting or living in a structure you do not own, it's best to have renters insurance. Renters insurance is extremely affordable and offers personal liability coverage as well as coverage for your belongings. Many carriers even offer worldwide coverage which ensures that no matter where an individual's personal property is lost, stolen, or damaged, they will be covered for any associated losses. Renters insurance provides the peace of mind you can’t afford to go without.

Auto Policy Check-Up



When moving to a new town, changing jobs, or upgrading your vehicle, it's important to review your auto insurance coverages.

If you’ve recently purchased a classic vehicle - it’s a good idea to work with your agent to find the appropriate policy. Often, this type of vehicle will qualify for a specialty policy.

It’s important to know that the DMV does not notify your insurance company when new drivers obtain their license. Because of this, it’s important to update your insurance company when these events take place.

Owning a business is another reason to review your policy and coverage. If you use your personal vehicle for business operations, for example transporting clients or products - it’s important to know that your personal auto policy may not cover that vehicle in the event of a loss. For instance, independent contractors and delivery services are cause for concern due to increased liability risk.  You will want to move this vehicle to a commercial policy as soon as possible so you are adequately protected.

Commercial Policy Check-Up



It is essential to understand what is and isn’t covered when it comes to your business insurance. For example, often loss of power or heat to your business caused by a loss originating away from your business will not be covered under a commercial insurance policy. You can however purchase coverage for things such as damage from a pipe burst or the resulting loss of income if the cause of loss is a power outage. Your insurance agent can help you navigate the details of coverage in situations like this.  

Another crucial component to review during this insurance checkup will be your vendor and service contracts. Say you hire a snow removal company who when plowing, causes damage to your building. Or what if the snow removal company fails to show up after a snowstorm resulting in a customer slip and fall injury.  Do you have proof of liability insurance from the company you hired? In order to protect yourself and your business, you will want to make sure a written contract is in place with each service provider that you hire. To further protect your business, contracts should contain wording that not only requires your contractor to carry adequate liability insurance but also list the business owner as an additional insured under the contractor’s liability insurance policy. Taking steps like these will go far in transferring risk from your business to the service provider.

Discounts to Look For

It’s always in your best interest to check with your agent or insurance company about available discounts. Oftentimes home improvements such as a new roof, security system or back-up generator will qualify you for discounts off your policy premium. There are driving courses you can take online or  in person to qualify for safe driving discounts. You might also consider bundling policies together with one company as this will often qualify you for a multi-policy discount.

Keep Your Deductibles in Mind

Evaluating your deductibles is another key part of your insurance checkup. Ask your insurance company or agent if increasing your deductible will lower your annual premium. The increase in deductible will often provide significant savings, however it is important to be realistic about what you can afford as a deductible in the event of a loss. 

Changes in life will mean changes to your insurance policies, and now that you are ready to complete your insurance policy check-up you might be interested in finding out about more discounts.  Click the link below to learn more about various homeowner discounts you can receive with NYCM insurance!