Often, we buy home insurance coverage and then don’t think about it much until we get a miscellaneous notice from the insurer — or a bill — or if we have a claim. But what’s in that policy, and are you as covered as you think? Life has a way of changing on us. New things arrive at the home: swing sets, pools, and new jewelry, some of which are insured and some of which need a closer look — and maybe an add-on.

Water, Water, Everywhere… 
There are certain exclusions that are common to home insurance policies. Ground-surface floods also called overland floods, and sewer backup are among the most frequent causes of damage to homes that are often excluded from coverage. Mold growth due to these risks — or any other —  also isn’t covered unless it is caused by a covered claim. Consider purchasing a rider for your policy to patch those leaky holes in your coverage or purchasing a separate policy to cover flood risk.

Specific Coverage for Valuables
Home insurance and tenant insurance policies provide coverage for personal property, your belongings. However, this coverage is limited to certain types of valuables. Typically, you can expect jewelry, musical instruments, furs, and similar types of valuables to be covered — up to a limit — and that coverage limit might be significantly less than the item is worth.

To insure your valuables for their full replacement cost, you’ll want to add them to your policy as scheduled items or purchase a separate policy specifically for your valuables. Your broker will need a recent appraisal or receipt. For high-value items, an appraisal is more useful because it’s more detailed and will help you or the insurer source a replacement if needed.

Increased Liability for Pools and Trampolines
​As your family grows, the toy collection grows as well, including pools, playsets, trampolines, and other fun items. Summertime fun can also lead to daredevil stunts and, unfortunately, the occasional injury. Slip and fall accidents are common as well, especially around pools. As a homeowner, you can be held liable for the injuries to others on your property.

Consider raising your liability coverage limits or even buying an umbrella policy to protect your assets and the home your family enjoys. In the old days, brokers used to refer to an umbrella policy as a “pool policy”, suggesting one of its most common applications. An umbrella policy is usually the most affordable way to extend your liability coverage for accidents at home as well as other activities, like volunteer work.

A policy review can be invaluable because it often uncovers risks you hadn’t considered and might even reveal some coverages you no longer need. Life changes on us quickly, so be sure to review your coverage with your broker every 12 to 18 months to be sure your coverage is up to date.