Barker Martin

Condo-HOA Blog

Why Won't My Insurer Accept My Friend Request?

Unless your insurance company is friends with you on Facebook, it probably isn’t reading your thrice daily updates on your life. While most people don’t want their insurer keeping daily tabs on them, it may be in your best interest to keep your insurance company informed. Failing to keep your insurer in the loop may cost you a lot of money.

Homeowners policies provide “dwelling coverage,” which is intended to pay for your house in the event it is damaged. Some policies also provide for “extended” dwelling coverage, which covers the increased cost of construction up to an agreed amount. But, what many people don’t know is that additions or remodels may jeopardize this coverage. In many policies, upgrades of as little as $5,000 require notice to the insurer. If there is no notice to the insurer, it isn’t just the cost of the upgrade or renovation that is not covered. Some policies indicate that the entire extended coverage is forfeited for the lack of notice. I’ve seen many people using the COVID slowdown as an opportunity to do renovations. For those undertaking any sort of sizeable work should check in with their agent or broker to determine if notice is required to the insurer.

Another potential problem involves those working at home. Homeowners policies also provide “content” coverage. This covers the loss of personal property in the home. While content coverage may be sufficient to cover the “normal” property in your home, working from home may increase the value of property you are now housing. Many workers have brought home computers, monitors, printers, desks, etc. Depending on the amount of your coverage, this additional property may put you over your limit. In the event of a loss, you may not be able to recover for these additional items.

While it is not necessary to make sure your insurance company knows about the “yummy” coffee shop you discovered or that it is “wine o’clock,” keeping your insurer up to date may save you from an unanticipated loss.