Your family’s home and vehicles are an investment, so you need to know that they’re protected at all times. Your family’s life is always changing; if your insurance policy doesn’t keep up then you could be left without coverage when you need it most.
Notifying your insurance company of changes to your home or vehicles is an important task to ensure you always have the right coverage in place. Keep reading to learn more about changes your insurance company needs to know about and how they could impact your coverage.
Changes to Your Home That Can Affect Your Insurance
Whether you’re undergoing spring renovations or renting out the basement, here are some of the most important changes to your home that you must inform your insurance company about:
Starting a Home-Based Business
Did you know that home insurance won’t cover you for any commercial activities that take place at home? If you’ve started a business from home, you’ll need a separate home business insurance policy to cover what your residential policy won’t.
Changes in Occupancy
If you start renting out a portion of your property, your insurance company needs to know.
When you open up your home to tenants, you’re also opening yourself up to some additional risks. You’ll want to make sure to have landlord insurance to cover personal liability, the physical rental dwelling and rental contents.
Alternatively, if you’ve stopped renting and no longer have any tenants, you’ll also want to notify your insurance company. Why waste money on insurance coverage you don’t need?
Renovations or Major Renovations to Your House
Major changes to your home or property will affect its overall value. In the event of significant damage or total loss of your home, you don’t want your insurance coverage to come up short.
Additions or major changes to structures on your property, such as sheds or detached garages, are also a reason to call up your insurance company. You’ll need to add on detached structure coverage or ensure your existing coverage is adequate.
Changes to Your Vehicle That Can Affect Your Insurance
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that if you purchase or lease a new vehicle, you need to inform your car insurance company. What most people don’t know, however, is that changes in how you use your vehicle can also impact your insurance.
Some of these changes to notify your insurance company about include:
Newly Licensed Driver in Your Home
Your auto insurance policy doesn’t just cover the vehicles themselves, but the people who drive them. When someone in your home receives their license, they are now considered a secondary or occasional driver and need to be added to your policy.
Shorter or Longer Daily Commute to Work
The length of your commute and the average annual mileage you put on your vehicle impacts the price of your premium.
The longer your commute, the more time you spend on the road which inherently increases the risk of you being involved in a collision. This higher (or lower, for a shorter commute) risk is taken into consideration when determining your premium.
Using Your Personal Vehicle for Commercial Purposes
Similar to how you need to inform your insurance company about starting a home-based business, you also need to let them know if you start using your vehicle for commercial activities.
In the event of damage to vehicles, people or property while using your vehicle for commercial purposes, your personal auto insurance policy won’t be enough and could leave you on the hook for costly damages.
When in Doubt, Call Your Insurance Agent
If you ever have any doubt about whether changes to your home or vehicle could affect your insurance coverage, take the safe route and give your insurance agent a call. It’s better to spend a few minutes on the phone and have everything stay the same than be left with inadequate coverage when you and your family need it most.
Some people hesitate to inform their insurance company about changes because they want to save some money. It’s true, some of these changes may cause your premiums to increase. In the event of a serious collision or damage to your home, inadequate insurance coverage will cost you far more in the long-term than what you’ll pay in a higher premium.
On the plus side, you may find that certain changes can actually cause your premiums to decrease! Using snow tires on your vehicle, holding multiple policies and installing a professionally monitored alarm system or automatic generator for your home are just some of the changes that can give you a discount on your premium.
Don’t wait until your policy renewal to check if your insurance coverage is up-to-date. Give Cayuga Mutual a call today and our agents will make sure your home and auto insurance policies provide the right coverage for you and your family.