1. Surprisingly, if you’ve had your roof replaced through an insurance claim, there is no guarantee your insurance provider has accounted for this when calculating your current premium. My wife and I had our roof replaced in 2017 as part of a claim (hail damage). We went about everything the “right” way. We found a licensed roofer, and we insisted they pull a permit (a permit is required in Fort Collins; a permit is not necessary in Loveland). We wanted our insurance company to be able to see that the work was completed properly. We were in touch with our insurance company at multiple points throughout the process, so it never dawned on me that they wouldn’t account for the new roof when calculating our premium. Unfortunately, this is precisely what happened. It had been a while since I met with our insurance agent, so I scheduled a meeting and met with him. I wanted to go over all of our policies (home, auto, umbrella) to ensure we still had the right coverage and ensure we weren’t wasting money on unnecessary coverage (something I highly recommend you do as well). During this meeting, I discovered the new roof was not being considered when calculating our premium. This would have saved us more than $500/year (or approximately 30% of our entire payment). With the help of our local agent (we dealt with the 1-800 support when going through the roof claim process), we were able to get our premium reduced, and we also received a $1500 check from our insurance company. So, if you’ve had your roof replaced recently, it may be worth an email to your agent to make sure your insurance provider is accounting for this improvement. And generally, it may be worth considering any other roof-related repairs or upgrades you’ve recently made to ensure you’re receiving any applicable credits.
2. Problems with water and/or sewer lines are fortunately uncommon, but the fixes can be expensive when they do occur. And unfortunately, not many insurance providers offer coverage for these issues. Though rare, we have heard of some insurance providers who offer riders that will cover water/sewer line problems. If you’re concerned about these types of possible issues, and if your current carrier doesn’t have an option, there are companies that specialize in this type of coverage. A simple Google search will unearth a handful of options.
3. As we all know at this point, lumber prices have skyrocketed thanks to our old friend COVID-19. Not only this, but contractors are busy these days. When there is so much work, prices, of course, go up. Unless you are getting ready to build a home or complete an addition, this uptick in building-related costs is not likely at top of mind. However, if something happens to your home and you’re expecting your insurance policy to cover the loss, these price increases will take center stage. We suggest making it a point to ask your insurance agent your “replacement coverage” is sufficient based on today’s building costs.
I’m not an insurance agent, nor am I an expert in insurance coverage—which is why I recommend you schedule an appointment with your agent. Ask them specific questions (Are you aware I have a new roof? Will I be covered for sewer or water line problems? If no, is this coverage available?), and general questions (What gaps do you often see in coverage? What questions should I be asking?). Leaving money on the table and finding out in a stressful moment that you are underinsured are two things you can avoid with just a little bit of due diligence.