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New Year's Resolutions for Your Home

When the ball drops at midnight on New Year’s, many of us start formulating those all-important resolutions. What are you going to do differently or better next year? Your resolutions can also be extended to one of the things you’ve worked hardest for in life – your home – as well as the insurance you have to protect it. Here are some ideas that could give you more peace of mind in the new year.

New holiday gifts? Make an inventory of your personal possessions.
While your new holiday sweater from Aunt Jane may not affect the amount of insurance coverage you have for your belongings, those new electronics or jewelry you received just might. The beginning of the year is a great time to vet your belongings – what did you get rid of and what did you gain last year? It could affect the Coverage C amount on your homeowners policy.

This is also a great time of year to make a new home inventory. Having a complete record of property expedites the claims process and helps ensure that you are reimbursed for your belongings. This can easily be done with your smartphone or video camera.

Review your deductibles for the new year.
Each year Floridians prepare for hurricanes that could potentially reach our coasts. Many Floridians may not realize, however, that they have two separate deductibles on their home insurance: an “all other perils” deductible and a “hurricane” deductible. Your hurricane deductible is typically a percentage of your Coverage A amount, while your all other perils deductible is typically a flat fee. The Declarations Page of your insurance policy lists the dollar amount of both deductibles.

While selecting a higher deductible could mean less premium and more money in your wallet, make sure that you are comfortable with the deductible amount you choose in the event that you experience a loss, whether weather-related or not.

Learn more about hurricane deductibles here.

Do you have flood insurance?
Living in Florida means many things: The holidays will more than likely be warm. You may have several pairs of sunglasses as well as bits of sand in the trunk of your car. And even though you may not live in a flood zone, you do live in a flood-prone state.

The key distinction between water damage and flood damage is how the water arrives. If it accumulates and travels over the ground, it’s a flood, and losses resulting from a flood would be covered under flood insurance, not homeowners insurance. Standard homeowners insurance policies do NOT cover flood loss, and federal flood insurance policies have a 30-day waiting period before they go into effect. Inquire about flood insurance today (this will fit in perfectly with your “not procrastinating anymore” New Year’s resolution!).

Add home maintenance to your calendar.
With hectic schedules home maintenance can often fall by the wayside. Adding regular maintenance items to your calendar at the beginning of the year can be a great way to keep you on task for items such as changing air filters, cleaning gutters, and testing smoke alarms.

Consider adding a security system.
If you don’t already have a security system for your home, there’s no better time like the present. In addition to peace of mind, thwarting a break-in, and being able to lock your doors or check your thermostat from across the country, a home security system may help you save money on your home insurance.