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Do You Track and Document Your Home Improvements and Repairs? You Should!

Is your homeowner's policy up for renewal? Don't forget to track and document all your home improvements and repairs!
4/8/2014

My homeowner’s policy is up for renewal next month, and my agent sent me some options for new companies to insure with because my premium was going up by about $1,000 annually. Now that’s a true benefit to doing business with an Independent Insurance Agent – she had already done some initial investigating on my behalf. I still don’t understand the increase from the existing insurance company, but it doesn’t matter to me anymore – I’ve moved on (WITH my agent).


As part of this process, however, my agent wanted an update on any and all work I had done on my house. Uh-oh. I’m sure I have paperwork somewhere. Then it hit me: it’s time to keep a spreadsheet of the work done on the house, including an indication of where I filed the related paperwork. The types of often sought information:


• Last time roof replaced

• Last time house painted

• Any updates to plumbing system (partial or complete)

• Any updates to the electrical system

• What type of heating system do you have and when was it last updated


You will need to provide this to your insurance agent at some point (especially if you change insurance companies like I am), and you also need to track this information for tax purposes – check out "Tax Reasons to Keep Good Records of Home Improvements."

Not surprisingly, I had actually updated many of the items mentioned above – but it was a hassle locating everything because I had no central record of the repairs. I do now.


If you really want to understand homeowners insurance, this article on Homeowners Insurance Basics is a pretty good place to start. It will also provide some insight on the factors that affect the cost of your homeowners insurance. The state of Texas has a pretty good very in-depth page on homeowners insurance as well. Look for your own state’s version, if you can, since it may discuss items that are specific to your geography. Let’s face it, there are some natural disasters that are more common in particular areas of the country.


Of course, sometimes all it takes is a tough winter for homeowners’ insurance claims to rise: Winter Weather Woes and Home Insurance.


And after all is said and done – you’ve identified and documented the repairs and improvements – make sure of one more item: That the replacement cost of your home has been adjusted for the current market. If this number has not been adjusted since the market downturn (did someone say crash?) of 2008, be sure to have it done. There is no sense in paying premium for an amount you simply do not need.


The information on this site is general in nature. Any description of coverage is necessarily simplified. Whether a particular loss is covered depends on the specific facts and the provisions, exclusions and limits of the actual policy. Nothing on this site alters the terms or conditions of any policies, nor does it provide any guarantees. You should read your specific policy for a complete description of coverage.



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