Property Changes and When to Update Your Homeowners Insurance Policy (Renumbering, Name Changes, and Moving)
When you’re stressed while planning a move, or having other changes made to your home, your home insurance policy can oftentimes be the last thing on your mind.
However, when you are in the middle of a move or having your property altered in some big way, it’s important to keep insurance agents or providers in the loop to ensure you are covered for every step of the way.
At Berry Insurance, we’re used to helping clients update their homeowners policy for any changes to their property, whether they were planned or not. In this article, we’ll discuss how changes to your property could affect your policy if insurance agents or providers are not notified and how your homeowners policy covers moving.
Updating your policy
Routinely updating your insurance policies can be a good habit for any homeowner. This is always recommend for any changes that greatly increase the properties value or expand its square footage, but is also applicable to other important changes:
Houses can be renumbered for a variety of reasons, including if your property is being converted from a single to multi-family home, being converted back into a single property, or was simply improperly numbered before.
Whichever the reason, if your house or neighborhood is being renumbered, it could become an issue for your insurance coverage moving forward. While it will not necessarily limit the coverage you receive, it could make it more complicated and lengthen the process of finalizing coverage for any claims you may encounter.
Street name changes:
As towns or cities grow and change overtime, names of certain streets or neighborhoods may be renamed or altered in some way. Usually the older the neighborhood, the greater the chance the street has been renamed at least once.
Similar to house renumbering, changes to street names can complicate the insurance process in the event of a claim, making it important to update your policy about any changes to your address.
Adding or changing names on the policy:
If you’re a newlywed and are simply going through the process of changing your first or last name, it can be a good idea to notify the insurance agent or provider.
Adjusting a policyholders name or adding a member onto the policy can be a quick change that would better optimize the coverage you would receive. Depending on your insurance provider, there may be specific forms or notarized documents required to make the necessary name changes to your policy.
Common property additions that require policy updates:
The following are common additions homeowners add to their property or family that would also merit adjustments to your policy. Depending on the change, your homeowners policy coverage may have to be increased or reworked.
- Got new dogs or pets
- Purchased something expensive for your home
- Started a home based business
- Added a pool or trampoline
- Made any renovations or additions to your home (patio, deck, shed, etc.)
- Installed a security system
- Received expensive jewelry/engagement ring
- Replaced your old roof
For any changes to your home or property, we recommend contacting your insurance agent and explaining what needs to be updated on your current policy. They can help guide you through any steps required by the insurance provider and complete any necessary adjustments to ensure your coverage is nothing but smooth sailing.
What to know when moving homes
Moving can be a tedious process that requires juggling many different tasks, and may leave you wondering how your homeowners policy covers the entirety of the move.
Can policies carry over to the new property?
Your current homeowners policy would not be able to be automatically applied to your new home, as the lot will likely differ in multiple ways. From any additional structures or amenities like pools or sheds, to how old the home is, many differing factors between the two homes would necessitate a unique policy for each. However, if you are instead renting a property, you can typically take your renters policy from one rented location to the next.
While dependent upon the insurance agency and providers rules or restrictions, and where you are moving to, you will likely be able to continue your relationship with both your insurance agency and provider to your new home - just with a brand new policy.
To know more about what you should be looking for when insuring your new property, have a look at this article in our Learning Center: What to Expect from Home Insurance when Buying a House.
When should I cancel my current policy?
You should only cancel your current home’s insurance policy when you are officially no longer the owner of the home itself.
We recommend against relying on future closing dates, as they can often be changed or pushed off. This would make you responsible for any damages or injuries that occur on the property if you canceled too early.
When should I get the new home’s policy?
You should have a home insurance policy in place for your new property when you close the deal.
It’s a good idea to let your insurance agent know when you’re making an offer on a new house and when it is accepted, so they can help to set up the new policy with your insurance provider. Keeping your agent in the loop will make sure that your policy is ready when it’s time to close on your new home.
In most cases, your new home policy will have to be in-force a few weeks prior to closing, so the mortgage can be approved.
For information on what you need to know when filing a quote for homeowners insurance, check out our own helpful guide: What Information do I Need For a MA Homeowners Insurance Quote?
Is my personal property covered while moving?
Protection of your personal property when moving to your new home depends on the potential damages to it.
Things like fire or theft of any of your personal property would be covered by your homeowners policy, but any damages caused by poor handling on the fault of you or a moving company would be unlikely to receive coverage.
If you are keeping any items in a storage unit while moving, your current homeowners policy would likely cover the stored items, but may be held at a lower coverage limit.
How are house relocations covered?
If you are instead looking into physically moving your current home, as in transporting the structure to a new location, you will likely still require a new policy for the “new” home. This is depending on the new location as well as any changes in amenities or features on the new property.
As moving houses can also be a tricky and complicated endeavor, you will likely need to acquire separate insurance coverage for such an event.
Covering any changes
Updating your homeowners policy for any of life's big changes to your home or family is a great way to ensure you will receive the best and most efficient coverage if any claims come your way.
Beyond updating your policy for changes big and small, it’s good to know what other areas of your policy may be lacking or missing. Check out this article to know more about things you may want to include in your next policy update: 5 Things that May be Missing from Your Home Insurance Policy.