Updating your insurance policies as a New Year’s resolution

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SEATTLE — Insurance might be the last thing on your mind when it comes to New Year’s resolutions, but the new year is a good time to  make sure you are as protected as you think you are.

The experts at PEMCO Insurance said if you are not checking your insurance every once in a while, you could get caught short with things like home remodeling.

“Something as simple as changing the tile on the backsplash or putting up a backsplash instead of a normal paint job or they replace the counter top cabinets,” said Matthew Compton, an insurance agent with PEMCO Insurance.  “It doesn’t have to be a complete gut, but if they don’t let us know that these things have happened or they forgot to let us know or they thought it wasn’t important it might not be covered if there is a claim.”

PEMCO also recommends updating your insurance for jewelry you’ve inherited or purchased, changes in work distances or rideshare driving or improvements in your credit.

“They might be surprised to learn on their homeowner policy, the jewelry limits are very small by default” said Compton. “So, they should call their agent or call their insurance company up and check to see what that limit is and how to increase, so if that ring does disappear or that necklace breaks or is stolen, that it’s covered.”

For your car, you could save quite a bit of money depending on what has changed. Insurance companies constantly add or change discounts to stay competitive.

You could quality for discounts that didn’t exist when you bought your policy.

Assets are something else people rarely think about. Most financial advisers urge people to consider protecting assets with an umbrella policy.

“We need to look at umbrella policies,” said Compton. “Our home policy, our renters policies and our auto policies covers for only so much. If we exhaust those limits, that umbrella policy will continue that coverage for us, maybe give us an additional one million or two million dollars of coverage that again will help us keep our home, keep our wages from being garnished and keep us out of court.”

Compton said an umbrella policy is about 200 to 250 dollars per year depending on limits and depending on the number of teen drivers in the house.

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