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Why You Should Revisit Your Fire Insurance Coverage This Summer

When was the last time you reviewed your homeowner’s insurance policy? Chances are not, since it was required by your lender at the time you applied for your mortgage. You may not realize it, but obtaining coverage is not a ‘one and done’ event. It is important from time to time to take out and review your homeowner’s insurance policy to make sure that your fire insurance coverage is adequate, especially prior to summer activities. We’ve all watched in horror as fires consumed millions of acreage in the Western United States. But it is wrong to assume that because you live elsewhere in the nation that you are safe from having to submit a fire damage claim. Outdoor fires such as bonfires, cookouts, barbecues, grills, even fire pits are leading causes for a fire claim every summer. In fact, in recent years gas grills alone have caused over 9,000 home fires annually with damage claims amounting to tens of millions of dollars. United Public Adjusters & Appraisers wants you to enjoy your summer, secure in the knowledge that should an accident occur, that your policy is up-to-date and that you’re covered for every contingency.

The chief reason to reexamine your policy now, (and make a point of reviewing your coverage every year) is that your coverage limits reflect your home’s value and your possessions at the time you secured the policy. Since that time, you’ve doubtless acquired more belongings, and perhaps have made a few upgrades to your premises. These changes are likely not covered unless you notify your insurance carrier and update your policy. In this posting we are presenting the top reasons why you should contact the United Public Adjusters & Appraisers team for assistance in reviewing your homeowners’ policy and in particular, your fire insurance coverage. This way, you’ll ensure that you have the resources to repair and rebuild after a loss. Here are the most common updates to your home and property that could impact your policy:

  1. New Purchases and Acquisitions: Not valuing or undervaluing family heirlooms is a common oversight on most homeowners’ policies. Did you inherit your grandmother’s piano? What about your great aunt’s wedding ring? Did your father hand down his treasured group of Picasso etchings? Such high-value items may not be covered under standard policy language. Sometimes it is not personal items that need coverage. During the national pandemic many of us established permanent home offices with desks, chairs, filing, and storage systems as well as computers, printers and other technology. For example, does your homeowners’ policy cover a fire claim for the loss of these items?
  2. Home Improvements: These can increase the value of your residence, whether they are inside or on the property. Building an extension over your attached garage is one example, but many homeowners overlook having installed an in-ground sprinkler system, an outdoor kitchen, an in-ground swimming pool, as well as a home security system (which can qualify you for a policy premium discount). These projects increase your home’s appraisal value, and it is imperative that these upgrades are included in your policy coverage limits.
  3. Replacement Costs: The steep increases in construction costs alone are a sound reason for reexamining your homeowners’ policy coverages. After all, should your home require renovation or even to be rebuilt, you’ll want the new materials to be of the same type and quality as the old. If yours is an actual cash value policy, it will only pay for the value of your property and belongs minus depreciation. There are extended or guaranteed replacement policies to protect you and your assets from increased labor and material costs. Allow our team to assist you to explore all your coverage options.
  4. Fire Insurance Coverage: In the event of a fire, for example, a standard policy will cover your home and possessions against damage and loss caused by fire and smoke. However, if your address is considered an area with a high fire risk, your policy may have an exclusion clause or law limit coverage in your policy that you may not be aware of. When you go to submit a fire damage claim it is not the time to discover that your fire insurance coverage contains this often well-hidden clause, and most important, if it does, what you can do about it.

If any of these reasons resonate with you, be sure to contact the team at United Public Adjusters & Appraisers as soon as possible. Let’s review your policies and home inventory together and determine if increasing your policy limits has become a necessity and what the new coverage limits should be for adequate coverage. But our services do not end there! IN the event that you need to prepare a homeowners’ or fire insurance claim, we can provide assistance in documenting and submitting a claim with your carrier, then negotiate to bring about the highest settlement your policy allows. Contact us today!


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