A few things in life are constant, and ironically, one of those is change. Homeowners insurance policies provide standard coverage for a variety of well-known risks, but sometimes do not automatically provide protection for new exposures as households and technology change. It is important to be aware of these potential gaps in coverage and understand the policy enhancements, often referred to as endorsements by insurance companies, that are available to protect our homes and loved ones.
Below are three examples of potential coverage gaps as change occurs in our day-to-day lives:
- Smart Home Technology
First, smart technology has been making it’s way into homes across the country in recent years. Smart devices such as door locks, light bulbs, thermostats, doorbells, electrical outlets, smoke alarms and beyond are readily available and affordable. These devices enhance security and create convenience for consumers, but also create potential new risks. What happens if a fire starts because a smart device malfunctions and fails to properly turn off an appliance? What if your home network is hacked and causes a loss? Will your policy respond to any of these scenarios? Our Fitz team is happy to discuss these risks along with the pros and cons associated with smart technology so you can make the best decision related to these devices in your home.
Another change is the increase in the number of drones used in residential areas. These devices are useful for a variety of tasks that make life more convenient, such as aerial photography, home maintenance, and simply the enjoyment of flying a drone. The typical home insurance policy may not cover the exposures associated with flying a drone. What if your drone flies into your neighbor’s house or flies into street traffic and causes an auto accident? These are new risks due to the prevalent nature of drones. Various endorsements are available for your homeowners policy if owning a drone is in your future.
- Multi-Generational Households
According to a recent Pew Research Center report, in 1900, 57% of Americans ages 65 and over lived in homes with their children, grandchildren or other family members. By 1990, this had decreased down to 17%. Due to a variety of factors, this trend has reversed again and the percentage of adults 65 and over living with adult children is on the rise. With the growth of multi-generational households, risks for insurance companies increase as well. More people under one-roof leads to additional liability exposures. For example, valuable family heirlooms may need to be scheduled on the policy. Also, if a home was renovated to accommodate multifamily use, then the value may need to be updated if it increased. Each of these factors should be considered for homes with multi generations.
Whether it is due to innovation or evolving lifestyle trends, change will always continue. As a Trusted Choice Independent Agency, the Oswego-based FitzGibbons Agency is here to help you review your policy in light of this changing landscape of risks and determine if you need any coverage enhancements.