Reviewing and Renewing your Policy

The exercise of reviewing and renewing your policy is one that should be performed at least once every year. This is generally the term of a homeowners insurance policy, anyway, and for many, the renewal usually occurs without a full and complete review. This is, of course, not the preferred method. Fortunately for many homeowners, it does not become an issue because nothing of significance had occurred in the sectors that could influence the insurance, and there had been no accident or damage. However, accidents will happen, so homeowners should take the time to do a complete annual review of their insurance policy, for their own protection and perhaps to get new quotes and negotiate better rates.

The Importance of the Review

Every time a liability policy or any other type of homeowners insurance policy is up for renewal, it is also, by definition also up for review. Wise and pragmatic homeowners would make the process of renewal an unfailingly two part process of thorough review before renewal.

Some insurance and mortgage professionals recommend that homeowners speak with their agent at least once a year to review the terms of the policy and discuss any changes or modifications that might be necessary. Even if there were no significant developments in the homeowners circumstances, it is possible that changes might have occurred in the industry that could affect the policy, or the probability of incidences of flood, earthquake, landslide, or other hazard.

If the home is insured for the replacement cost, changes in the cost of construction and of the materials of construction could create a large enough discrepancy between the previous and the new, possible replacement costs that a policy review would be very wise exercise. Developments in the real estate industry that the homeowner might not have been aware of could affect the terms of the policy, even quite seriously. It is important to make sure your home has adequate coverage, and without a full review of the policy and of the changes that might have occurred in the environment and circumstances of the owner, some quite significant point could be missed. The result could be a financial loss, which would be unfortunate, because the purpose of the insurance coverage is to prevent protect against such losses.

Changes in lifestyle or living situation need also to be included in the review and renewal process. An addition to the family should trigger a conversation about homeowners insurance as automatically as it brings life insurance into the picture. Whether this addition were a baby, a teenager, or an elderly parent, this should be communicated to the homeowners insurance agent, and the policy adjusted as necessary.

Renewing the Policy

The renewal portion of the process is possibly the most straightforward part. At this point, the receipts of purchase and other evidence of any changes made to the property will be attached. The new inventory of possessions that will, of course, indicate any property that the homeowner no longer owns, and will list any new possessions, including valuable gifts, will also have been prepared along with other documentation such as photographs and video.

The final step in the process would be that of making an appointment to meet with the insurance agent, but before that, the homeowner should take some time to reread the policy. This will be a refresher of the clauses and coverage, and clarification about the changes and modifications that might be necessary, so that the time spent with the agent will be most productive. This will be more likely if the policyholder were prepared with information about developments that have occurred, and changes that might now be necessary.

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"We found your site and changed policies after paying a huge deductible when a storm layed a tree in our living room. Our new deductible is almost 30% less and our monthly payment also went down. Thanks!"

- Sharon and Lewis K, St Louis MO