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Spring Cleaning Your Insurance Coverage

Compiled by Joan LaFemina

6 Questions provided by your Hometown Personal Account Representatives to Help You Assess Your Homeowners, Renters, Auto and Other Coverage

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Say Hello to your Hometown Personal Account Representatives: Alicia, Brandon, Faith and Robin!

Spring is the traditional time of year for cleaning out closets, drawers and organizing attics, and a great time to review your insurance coverage with Hometown.

A thorough evaluation of your insurance once a year is important to maintain adequate coverage. Call us after you ask yourself the following key questions:

1. Is my home covered for full rebuilding cost?

Review your policy to make sure that you have enough insurance to completely rebuild your home. If you have made major improvements to your home, added a new room, enclosed a porch or expanded a kitchen or bathroom, call us to review. It is possible you could be underinsured if you do not adjust your homeowners insurance coverage limits.

And, if you do not have a separate flood insurance policy, now would be a great time to review your flood risk zone and the benefits of adding flood.

2. Do I have enough coverage for my jewelry, art and other expensive items?jewelry

Have you bought or received as a gift any valuable jewelry or art? When was the last time the items you own were appraised? Your homeowners insurance policy has specific dollar limits for the theft of certain types of expensive items like: jewelry, furs and silverware. Also, many homeowner policies contain an off premises theft exclusion that will not reimburse you for items stolen when not at your home. Insurer will only pay up to the limits specified in the policy— often up to $1,000 or $2,500. To insure these items for their full dollar value, consider a special personal property endorsement or floater. This coverage includes “accidental disappearance,” meaning coverage if you simply lose that item—and there is no deductible.

Remember that items can go up or down in value. Floaters and endorsements are priced on the appraised value of an item or collection so obtain periodic reappraisals to make sure you are purchasing the correct amount of coverage.

3. Do I need collision on my car or is it time to increase my limits?

If you’re driving an older car that is worth less than $1,000—or less than 10 times the insurance premium—the optional coverages may no longer be cost effective. Consider saving money on your premium by dropping collision. Consider keeping comprehensive though if you want to maintain full glass coverage, theft and other non-collision coverage.

If you have additional drivers in the home now or have become a homeowner, you may want to increase your bodily injury coverage to $250,000 per person and $500,000 per occurrence. By having the higher limits you can help to protect your assets, should an accident occur.

4. Do I have enough liability insurance to fully protect my assets?

Standard homeowners and auto policies liability coverage, pay for legal fees and judgments brought against you, up to a limit set in the policy. However, in our litigious society, you may want to have additional protection by obtaining an umbrella policy. An umbrella policy kicks in when you reach the limit on the underlying liability coverage in your homeowners, renters, condo or auto policy. If you have a youthful driver, own a home or have had a recent increase of assets, you’ll have more to lose and may want to consider this extra layer of protection.

5. What kind of vacation will I be taking this summer?

If you are taking an expensive, pre-paid vacation or an active vacation such as biking or hiking in an exotic locale, protect your financial investment by purchasing trip insurance and make sure you have the correct health, accident, disability and life insurance to protect your health.

6. Should I rent out my house during the vacation period?

Whether you own a second home that you plan to lease to a tenant, or want to rent out your primary residence though an online service such as Airbnb, your first step should be to call your Hometown Personal Account Representative.

Depending on the rental scenario, there may be exclusions in your standard homeowners policy that will not pay for losses incurred while your home is rented out, and you may require a specialized insurance.

Most importantly, whether it is Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall, plan a talk with Faith, Robin, Alicia or Brandon, your Personal Account Representatives at Hometown, so we can help you maintain or obtain the coverage you need!

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