Life is a constant attempt to adapt to change. In today’s world change can happen quickly – A new job, a new baby, a new home, a new business partner. There are many things that can alter your life or your company from one week to the next. But, what changes require you to call your insurance broker? Here are some examples of when you should call to update your personal or commercial insurance policies.
Most Common Changes People Forget to Inform Their Broker Of
– This is a biggie because your mailing address is now different and could result in paperwork going missing. Moving generally results in changes to the rating territory where your vehicle is now parked and affects vehicle usage such as distance driven to work one way. Moving also means your personal property policy needs to be updated as well. We recommend getting in touch with your insurance broker before you move to ensure nothing is missed for all your policies. That way there are no potential gaps in your insurance coverage.
– This can result can change how often you use your vehicle, which in turn, can affect your car insurance rates. Do you now use your vehicle for business? Do you know commute a shorter distance? Have you retired? All these changes could impact your insurance policy. Having your car insurance policy up to date means there are no potential issues when a claim situation occurs.
New Drivers and Vehicles
– Sometimes a new driver will start using your vehicles. A son or daughter who got their G2 licence is now able to drive your cars. Perhaps your business has hired a new driver for one of your fleet vehicles. An additional driver could change the risk on your personal or commercial auto policy. If an undeclared driver were to be involved in an accident with your, or your company’s, vehicle you could find that claim declined by the insurance company due to a material change in risk. What if the claim involved severe injuries? That could result in a multimillion dollar lawsuit where there is no insurance protection.
Changes to Your Home or Business Building
– Build a deck in your backyard? Add a new section to your business? Finish your basement? Did you add a pool? You may have done these things to add to your enjoyment of your home. You may have done these things to increase the market value of your home too. If you make upgrades or additions worth more than $10,000 you could find your home insurance limits are too low. Call your broker to discuss what the changes you have in mind will affect your home. Changing your carpet from one style to the next likely won’t affect your insurance, but changing your one storey bungalow to a two storey colonial, or doubling your company’s building, will have a huge impact on what your coverage will protect you from. Call your broker before you start any major project to ensure you have the protection your home needs.
Related Read: Hiring Another Company? Check Their Insurance
Contents in Storage – Have you recently moved some of your belongings into a long term storage facility? Many of us have. However, your personal property policy (home, condo or tenants) has specific limitations both in terms of value and length of storage. If you are currently using a storage unit away from your premises you could find yourself without coverage if something happens, such as a fire or theft, to those contents. Knowing what limitations your policy has and what options are available to provide protection can mean the difference between being covered and being left out in the cold.
Related Read: The Contents of Your Policy Determines the Payout for Your Contents
Changes to Your Business – The purchase of new equipment and office contents, or an increase in sales numbers can suddenly mean the limits on your commercial policies are no longer adequate. Your commercial insurance premium is derived in part on the value of your commercial property and your sales figures. If either one jumps above your current limits and a claim happens you could find yourself shortchanged in protection.
Don’t Take a Chance – Call Your Broker
It is very important when you’re updating your files that you include your insurance broker. Failing to notify your insurance broker of an important change to your home, car or business could result in you finding you’re without coverage, or reduced coverage, in the event of an accident or claim. If you are unsure whether a change in your life might affect your insurance policies give us a call. We can quickly determine if your policies have the protection you, your family, and your business needs.
Have any questions? Please comment below and we’ll get back to you.
Thanks for reading.
Back to Spring 2015 ProvERB Insurance Bulletin.