Homeowners Insurance: Five Musts for Spring

Many people set up their homeowners insurance when they buy their house and then forget about it—except to make payments. Yet, it makes practical sense to consider it each year to make changes that are needed and to perform tasks that support it and may prevent a claim. Spring is a great time to think about your homeowners insurance and revisit its coverage to make sure it is still adequate for your needs.

Talk to Your Insurer
Even something as simple as a spring phone call to chat about your policy can be good practice. Youll stay up to date about any policy changes and inform your insurance company about any changes that may have happened over the past year. Perhaps you got a new dog and need to chat about coverage should the dog bite anyone. You may be planning a graduation party or backyard wedding and need to talk about additional coverage such as an umbrella policy. If you plan to communicate about your policy each spring when you perform your other policy-related checks, youll be sure to better understand the ins and outs of your protections.

Fire Safety
Many people are already in spring cleaning mode the minute warmer weather arrives. Take a day each spring to change all smoke alarm batteries and to update fire extinguishers. These are lifesaving tasks that can also benefit your property. Also, be sure you have an adequate number of smoke detectors. Your insurer will have recommendations for your specific home and can advise you where to best place them.

Inventory Lists
Life changes each year. Keeping your insurance inventory list up to date is an important must in term so of your homeowners insurance. Perhaps you sold that grand piano you had insured or added to your valuable painting collection. Maybe you installed a home theatre system or installed some solar panels. Keeping track of your possessions on a list is essential in the event that something happens. Homeowners often forget to make claims on items that have been lost in a disaster because they are distraught or dont remember at the time. The list and accompanying photos is merely a way to keep an accurate accounting of your insured possessions. Revisit your list each year and simply make sure its up to date.

Trim Trees
Falling branches are often the genesis of homeowners insurance claims. Large branches can damage the room, gutters, and even the structure of the home. Spring is a good time to check for dead branches and to remove them before storms roll in to loosen them and send them hurling—at your house. Trimming trees and shrubs can also prevent excess shade and moisture problems for your roof. Moss or mildew can grow if there isnt enough sun getting through to prevent their growth.

Make a Clear Path
The winter can wreak havoc on sidewalks and pathways. A visitor that trips going up your walkway can result in an insurance claim. Spring is the perfect time to make sure your hardscape features are intact and do not pose unnecessary risks. Fill in dips in the pavement and apply any fixes that will enhance safety to the exterior of your property.

Certainly, you can think about your homeowners insurance policy at any point of the year, but if you plan to tackle these tasks each and every spring, youll be sure to complete them. Performing each of these musts will benefit your property and may also lead to lowers risks for claims. None of these items takes long to complete and, yet, they can provide extra peace of mind for the whole year.

 The author of this article Sam Jones keeps a close eye on the insurance market. He uses uSwitch.com to compare home insurance quotes with just one form fill and always manages to keep a lid on his insurance costs

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