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Resolve to Properly Insure your Home and Family in the New Year

A lot can happen in one year. You may have made home improvements, purchased new valuable items, or maybe even added a new member to your family. Before 2013 rolls around, make a resolution to evaluate your insurance coverage with your HUB broker so you, your family and possessions are adequately protected.

Homeowner's Insurance 

First, if you made any home improvements, such as adding a fireplace, gazebo, or deck, inform your HUB broker.  As the value of your home increases, your insurance coverage needs to keep up.

Over 60 percent of homeowners are underinsured by an average of 19 percent, according to Marshall & Swift/Boeckh, a firm that tracks construction costs for insurers. Even if your home value has decreased in the last few years, in the event of a catastrophic loss, you may not be able to cover the cost to rebuild your home with the same materials and workmanship, unless you have the right coverage. Talk to your HUB broker about guaranteed replacement cost coverage. 

For contents coverage, take a detailed home inventory of everything you own and information related to the cost to replace these items if they were stolen or destroyed by a disaster such as a fire. You can find free, web-based home inventory software at

With the wide availability of digital cameras and other devices; it is now easier than ever to record a video of all your possessions. Be sure the video is stored off-site or on a computer that is also off-site.    

Be sure to review your inventory with your HUB broker and if you need more coverage, consider higher limits for your personal possessions.

Most homeowner's policies include liability insurance coverage that helps protect you against lawsuits that may occur as a result of an accident or injury in your home or on your property. It's vital to be sure you have adequate liability coverage, especially if you own a dog, have a swimming pool or run ATVs or snowmobiles, all of which can increase your risk of being sued.

An umbrella policy provides the extra coverage you need beyond a conventional homeowner's policy. Most families add $1 million or more in liability coverage through an umbrella policy that supplements the liability coverage in your homeowner's policy. Your HUB broker can help you identify if your current liability coverage can protect your total assets in the event of a lawsuit. 

Flood Insurance 

If your property is close to a river, lake or creek, be sure to ask about flood insurance. While properties located near bodies of water face a greater risk of flood damage, run-off is also a primary cause of flooding.  Damage to your home or belongings resulting from a flood is not covered under standard homeowner's insurance policies. (Damage from a sewer backup is typically not covered either.)

Flood insurance is available from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Visit to find out if your home is in a flood zone and eligible for coverage.


Now that your home is covered, you need to make sure that you have adequate insurance for your vehicles. If you need to add a teenage driver, it is generally less expensive to cover the teen under your auto insurance policy as opposed to him or her purchasing individual insurance. If your teenager will be driving his or her own car, many insurance companies offer a multi-car discount. Make sure that you choose the type of car carefully-as it can dramatically affect the price of insurance.

Don't forget, recreational vehicles such as boats, ATVs, wave runners, scooters and snowmobiles also need insurance coverage.

Life Insurance 

Home and buildings protected? Check. Vehicles protected? Check. What about your most important assets­ - you and your loved ones?  Major changes such as the birth or adoption of a child or securing a second mortgage can impact your life insurance coverage needs. Be sure to keep your HUB broker informed about these changes.

Two income households should have coverage for both people, not just the person with the highest salary. Even if there is no second income, insuring both spouses is prudent as there will be an increase in expense if the primary care giver dies early. Life insurance coverage should cover the cost of outstanding debt, six months of emergency living, the education costs of your children and income continuation, if needed.

While you may not keep all of your new year's resolutions, make sure you keep this one. Call your HUB broker and review your insurance coverage. It's the best and easiest way to protect your family, your home…and to ring in the New Year right.