For most Americans, our homes are our most valuable possessions, and homeowners insurance can thus be an extremely important part of protecting our assets. However, certain simple mistakes may make you ineligible for compensation when disaster strikes.
Lie on an Initial Application
Above all, be honest when submitting an application for homeowners insurance. Many people may be tempted to fudge on the value of the items they own in order to receive a lower quote or monthly premium, but this is not a good idea! If your property is dishonestly represented in an insurance agreement, whether it is over or under-insured, the company you have contracted with has the right to cancel services at any time. You will lose your property AND your policy! While this may seem like a small mistake, avoiding it completely will save you a lot of trouble.
Leave Your House Unattended While on Vacation
While it’s not essential that you hire someone to house-sit every time you go away for a few days, most home insurance companies assume that the insured house will be well-cared for. If you live in an area where pipes may freeze and burst, where bug and/or mold infestations can start quickly and unexpectedly, or where theft and vandalism are a significant problem, you may void your insurance if you leave town for extended periods of time without asking someone to look after your property.
Forget to Report Building Additions
After you’ve owned your home for a few years, you may find that it no longer provides adequate space for you and your family. This is common, and many people choose to build an addition in order to expand the size of their homes rather than buying a new home altogether. However, if you do not alert your home insurance company to this change, you may find that not only is your new addition not covered by the policy, but that you have voided your home’s preexisting contract as well!
Begin a Home Business Without Reporting It
More and more Americans are turning to home business as a supplemental or primary income source; some run service operations such as in-home daycare centers, while others may operate small contracting or consulting businesses. While this can be the perfect solution to your money issues if you have small children or cannot work a regular 40-hour-a-week job, it won’t help at all if the insurance on your home is voided as a result! Be sure to inform your insurance company of any changes in the use of your home.
While most of the mistakes listed above may seem like common sense precautions, common sense is not always as common as we assume! Some homeowners even end up paying a premium on an insurance policy they have already voided, not realizing that it is no longer doing them any good. Don’t make this type of mistake! Be honest and responsible when it comes to your home insurance.