The start of the year is a great time to think about upcoming changes and how to prepare for any unique challenges and adventures ahead. Consider making the following five New Year’s resolutions to make sure you have the right insurance coverage in 2024.
Update (or Create) Your Home Inventory
After a storm, burglary, or other disaster, a home inventory makes it easier to report your losses accurately, which will help you get a fair—and speedy—settlement with your insurance provider. A home inventory is an up-to-date list of your possessions and their financial values.
Creating a home inventory may sound overwhelming, but it’s simpler than you might think, as covered in this article on five steps to start a new home inventory.
If you already have a home inventory, take some time in January or February to update it with any significant purchases you’ve made over the past year. Make sure to include collectors’ items or heirlooms you’ve acquired.
Start an Emergency Fund for Home Repairs
Sometimes it’s not in your best interest to file a homeowners insurance claim. For example, if your home needs minor repairs that cost less than $1,000, it might cost you more in premium increases than to cover the expense out-of-pocket.
By setting aside an emergency fund to pay for unexpected home expenses, you can save money in the long run with lower premiums by using your homeowner’s insurance only when you truly need it.
Update the Documents in Your Emergency Supply Kit
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommends keeping up-to-date copies of insurance policies and other important documents in your home’s emergency supply kit. Remove any old copies of your homeowners, auto, and medical insurance policies, and replace them with updated versions.
Check Your Fire Safety Equipment
Avoid a potential disaster by making sure your fire safety equipment is ready when you need it. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends replacing batteries in smoke alarms once a year. Consider installing an interconnected smoke alarm system so that you’ll hear the alarm no matter where you are in your home.
If you have any fire extinguishers, take a few minutes to inspect them so they’re fully charged and ready to use.
Reevaluate Your Insurance Coverage
If you renovated a room, installed a pool, or made any other major change this past year, the value of your home likely increased, which means you might be underinsured on your homeowners and flood insurance policies.
Similarly, if you made any changes to your home that mitigate damage or liability (like replacing your roof or upgrading old plumbing), you might qualify for lower premiums, depending on your provider.
Meet with your insurance partner to make sure you have the right protection at the best rates for your unique situation.