Make sure your homeowners / renters’ insurance is updated.
Someone is treating you to a big-time gift this holiday season. Or maybe you’re splurging for an expensive gift for the family. But however that expensive or valuable gift ends up in your home, know that to protect it properly, you may need to update your homeowners or renters’ insurance. The Colorado Division of Insurance (DOI), part of the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA), reminds people to not overlook this important step.
Anytime your possessions significantly change you will want to review your homeowners or renters insurance. Remember, homeowners insurance doesn’t protect just the structure, but also the contents of your house, while renters’ insurance is typically only focused on your possessions. And know that your homeowner or renters’ policy may provide coverage that a warranty or protection plan will not. So when those big ticket items come into the home - think big televisions, gaming systems, bikes, computers, tablets, smartphones, expensive jewelry, art or valuable collectibles - you’ll want to make sure your insurance coverage is sufficient if those items get damaged or stolen.
“The holidays are typically when people get these more expensive items,” said Colorado Insurance Commissioner Michael Conway. “Then the new year arrives, these things become a part of their lives and they don’t think about their insurance coverage, until something bad happens. That ‘something bad’ is why it is critical to make sure your homeowners or renters’ insurance is up-to-date.”
Most homeowner policies include coverage limitations for certain items such as computers, art, bikes and jewelry, so it might be time to add coverage to your existing policy to ensure these items are insured for their actual value. Or you can get a personal inland marine or a personal articles policy to cover these items. Don't let the name mislead you, as inland marine insurance doesn't have to do with water, but instead can provide a specified amount of coverage for a specific item and/or provide coverage beyond limits or sub-limits that may be in your policy. This may be a good time to take a look at your policy or talk to your agent about the limits and sub-limits for your personal property coverage.
All of this doesn’t just apply to those new gifts. When was the last time you had your jewelry appraised for insurance purposes? When you’re taking out the fancy china and silverware for the holidays, you might want to consider if you have enough insurance on these items or other family heirlooms or antiques, which can be quite valuable. Ultimately, you want to be sure the coverage amount you list with your insurance company or agent is current and reflective of the actual value of your items.
Such changes may very well impact your premiums, but not always. But if you don’t make your agent or insurance company aware of such items and their value, you likely won’t get their full value in a claim if they are damaged or stolen.
If you need help understanding your homeowner or renters’ insurance, figuring out what questions to ask about it, or just want some help decoding the language of your insurance, know that the Division of Insurance is a consumer resource for all things insurance. Contact the DOI Consumer Services Team at 303-894-7490 / 800-930-3745 / DORA_Insurance@state.co.us.
About the Division of Insurance:
The Colorado Division of Insurance (DOI), part of the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA), regulates the insurance industry and assists consumers and other stakeholders with insurance issues. Visit doi.colorado.gov for more information or call 303-894-7499 / toll free 800-930-3745.
DORA is dedicated to preserving the integrity of the marketplace and is committed to promoting a fair and competitive business environment in Colorado. Consumer protection is our mission. Visit dora.colorado.gov for more information or call 303-894-7855 / toll free 800-886-7675.