June 28 is National Insurance Awareness Day. While primarily celebrated by the insurance companies as an opportunity to market new policies and policy enhancements to their customers, National Insurance Awareness Day nonetheless serves as a practical reminder for homeowners to make sure that their insurance coverage is up to date.
If it has been a while since the last time you thought about your insurance coverage, here are some thoughts to consider:
1. Have You Expanded or Remodeled Your Home?
If you have remodeled a bathroom or kitchen, built an addition, or made other significant improvements to your home since you bought your policy, you will want to make sure that the additional value of your home is covered. You can review your policy language and endorsements to see what limitations apply, and you may want to consider a reappraisal so that you can adjust your policy limit accordingly.
2. Can You Cover Your Deductible (and Could You Cover More)?
When you file a claim against your homeowner’s insurance policy, you will need to pay your deductible. Do you know how much you will owe? Many homeowners choose higher deductibles in order to lower their annual premiums. While this can be a smart idea, if your financial circumstances have changed, it will be important to make sure you have enough money set aside. Remember, you may have different deductibles for different types of claims.
If you can cover a higher deductible, you may want to inquire with your insurance company about increasing your current deductible in order to lower your premiums. Just remember that you will need to be able to pay your deductible in the event of a hurricane or other casualty event.
3. Do You Have Adequate Home and Flood Insurance?
While your homeowner’s insurance policy covers rain and wind damage, it does not cover flooding or storm surge. In order to protect yourself against the cost of damage from these “perils,” you need to purchase separate flood insurance. Under a change in Florida law in 2014, you can buy this insurance either from a private insurance company or through the National Flood Insurance Program. When buying flood insurance, it is important to shop around, carefully weigh your options regarding deductibles and policy limits, and make sure you know all of your policy’s exclusions.
4. Have You Relied Too Much on Your Insurance Agent?
While an insurance agent can help you choose the right coverage for your home, he or she can also upsell you on insurance products you do not need. In a recent case, Florida’s federal appellate court ruled that insurance agents do not owe a fiduciary duty to their customers. This means that your insurance agent does not need to make recommendations based solely on what is best for you. If you relied too much on your insurance agent’s recommendations, you may be paying for coverage that is unnecessary.
Contact the Broward County Insurance Claim Lawyers at Saavedra | Goodwin
Saavedra | Goodwin is a Broward County law firm that represents homeowners in disputes with their insurance companies. If you are struggling to secure coverage or have questions about your legal rights under your home or flood insurance policy, we encourage you to call (954) 767-6333 or contact us online for a confidential consultation.