One thing most of us can say as Baby Boomers: we have accumulated a lot of stuff over the course of our lives, from the everyday basics to those prized possessions and family heirlooms. But of course, our biggest possession is our home, and although we’ve had home insurance all these years, when was the last time you really took a close, hard look at your policy to see if your insurance has kept up with your life? Too often, homeowners don’t realize they don’t have appropriate coverage until after filing a claim. Shock. Well, with me is Allstate Agent John Larson, who can give us some ideas on how to protect our assets so they can be enjoyed long into our golden years. Hi, John. Thank you so much for being here. Thanks for inviting me. Listen, many of us Baby Boomers, we’ve been in our homes for so long, we may lose track — what does that mean for our insurance? What kind of changes do we need to make? It probably means that you need a policy review. Over that course of time, there’s been changes with building codes and costs of construction and labor, so making sure that, if you bought your house 10 or 20 or 30 years ago, making sure that your coverage has updated along the way and you have the right coverage in place. Second of all, when you started out buying your home, you probably didn’t have a lot of things going on or a lot of assets to cover. Now, what have you accumulated in the last few years? It’s time to look at your liability. With your home being your greatest asset, and the other assets inside of it, you need to make sure that your liability is at the right coverage. And lastly, to do that, meet with your insurance professional, meet with your insurance agent, go over your policies. I recommend all my customers meet with me at least annually. Life moves so fast, and we accumulate things without even realizing it sometimes. We also do changes to our home, whether it’s renovations or additions, or any time you do something to your home, you should let your agent know. Oh, okay, that’s a good idea. And then all those things that we do accumulate over the years that may have increased in value, like jewelry or say a coin collection or a stamp collection, things like that that we may have started when we were kids, collecting jewelry, but it’s accumulated, it’s worth more now. Absolutely. The key to remember about things like that is, when it comes to jewelry or watches or furs or baseball card collections, any one of those coverages can have a limit built into the policy. So when you — for instance, if you have personal property that’s valued — your coverage is at $50,000 — you may think that those articles are covered within that policy coverage, when they may have a limit. So that $10,000 wedding ring you have, although you have $50,000 in personal property coverage, may not be covered. It may have a limit of $2,500. So it’s critical, again, that you meet with your agent and make sure that the coverages are right. For instance, we were talking earlier and I brought up just flood insurance. A lot of people may have floods and they don’t think about it. They think it’s covered by their homeowners insurance, and it’s not. You’re right. I mean, the National Flood Program is federally mandated; it’s sold to you through your insurance company, provided to you through your insurance company, but it’s a separate coverage altogether. Water coverage, sudden accidental water loss in your home, where a pipe breaks or an appliance goes out or things like that, is more likely covered. But you need to remember that flood may not be. And in fact, 25% of people that are affected by flood are in non-flood zone areas, so you may not have a mortgage company telling you to get flood insurance or things like that. You really need to do some research or talk to your agent. Then you need to remember beyond that, that there’s things like water backup. Where I live in St. Louis, we have basements. Inside the basements, because the pipes are lower, the water can back up in your basement and cause water damage. Having Water Backup is essential in our area, but maybe somewhere in California, it’s not, because there’s not basements, so they don’t experience the type of flooding we do. So it’s again critical that you meet with your insurance agent to find out what’s covered and what you need to make changes to. Say I come in to meet with my agent, and there’s all these new things to look at. I think the thing a lot of people are concerned about, then, is “Is that going to raise my cost?” So are there ways to sort of balance that out, where you get the insurance that you need without jacking your prices way up? Absolutely. It’s not your grandfather or your father’s homeowners policies anymore. Nowadays, the coverages can be tailored to you, which can help you. But also there’s discounts involved. For instance, if you have an alarm on your home, or the multi-policy discount. Allstate has a new roof discount. If you’re taking the steps to put a new roof on your home, we’re going to reward you. So all those things that show you’re a good citizen and you’re doing maintenance. Yeah, that all adds to your discounts. But that brings us again to why it’s important to have your own agent that you can talk to. I know when I was going through the Northridge earthquake, just knowing that my guy lived in the area and was going through the same thing and had neighbors who were going through the same thing helped. Exactly. Have an agent in your community. We get to know the weather patterns, we get to know claims history, what people are experiencing. Our own homes, they’re down the street from you. So how are we protecting our own homes? It’s just good to have an insurance professional that knows your area, knows what’s going on. And that knows you, that has a history with you and understands where you’ve come from and where you’re going to. Exactly. Thank you so much, John. Absolutely. For more information on what you can do to protect your home and all your belongings, log onto www.Allstate.com. And coming up next, if you think Medicare is going to take care of all your health needs in your golden years, honey, think again. And we’ll tell you why.