So many things happen in our lives in a year's time. You may purchase a 4-wheeler, change cell phone carriers, decide to remodel your home, or put in a pool for the kiddos. These are circumstances in which you should reach out to your insurance agent to make them aware of any changes in your household. Let's take a look at some of the most frequent life changes that are often not reported to agents, when they really should be.
1.) You decide when the temperatures soar that you are going to install a pool for your family. Depending on what type of pool you get, you may or may not have coverage for it. Even if the company offers coverage automatically under related private structures or personal property, they still have requirements that must be met prior to covering it. Most carriers require removable steps if the pool is above ground. A fence with a locked gate is required for in ground pools, and above ground pools with decks. Some carriers will not cover diving boards or slides, so please make sure you check prior to installing these extras.
2.) 4-wheelers or other ATV's are not automatically covered under your home or auto insurance. Some carriers have a specific program for these units, and others will allow them to be placed on your auto insurance policy. We find the products specifically designed for ATV's to be the best bang for your buck. They offer a lot of extras that are not included with the traditional plans.
3.) If you have added a wood burning stove, ventless gas heater, or other supplemental heat, your home insurance carrier needs to be made aware of the change. Most of the time, an agent will need to take photographs and inspect the unit prior to you using it.
4.) Please make sure to contact your agent if you decide to start a business in your home. In some cases, you may need to change home insurance carriers in order to have coverage for your new business venture. Some carriers will allow a home based business up to a certain amount of income. Check with your agent to be sure you are covered properly.
5.) One of the things our agency runs across when trying to contact our clients for an annual review is that clients have changed their phone number. Don't forget to notify your agent if your phone number changes, you have a new email address, or have set up a PO Box to receive your mail. Circumstances can arise in which it is important for us to be able to reach you in a timely manner.
6.) If you have additional people in your household that have access to your vehicles, you must notify your agent. Even if these individuals have another carrier, your company needs to know about this change. Having additional people may change your rate, so please keep that in mind.
Other situations in which you should contact your agent is if you have items in a storage unit, have purchased any jewelry, guns, antiques, collections, or any other high value item. Purchasing farm animals or equipment is another significant change that can put your home insurance at risk. A tractor with a finishing mower or bush hog used to keep up the property is not necessarily considered farm equipment, but please contact your agent just to make sure. It never hurts to make one simple call to give you peace of mind. We love hearing from you.
HRC Insurance Services, Inc.