If you're like many insurance consumers, when you get your annual homeowners, condo or renter's insurance policy, you simply file it away in a drawer and don't give it another thought. Many people barely glance at the fine print and are later surprised when a loss occurs that isn't covered. The flip side of the coin is that there may be benefits that are being paid for but that the policyholder is unaware of. Insurance policies sometimes offer coverage perks and benefits that go unused simply because the insured was unaware of the benefit. For example, some homeowners' policies will cover spoiled food from a power outage, personal possessions stolen from your car, a camera stolen while on vacation, or even a damaged tombstone. It can pay to know your policies - Meg Green of A.M. Best talks about various unusual benefits that might be included in your insurance coverage.
Coverage options can vary from insurance company to insurance company, so when you are discussing renewals with your agent, ask about any special benefits or perks that might be relevant to you and your family and ask questions to be sure you understand the extent of your coverage. And when you experience a loss, if you are unsure of whether or not you're covered, pick up the phone and talk it over with your agent. You would need to document your loss so keep receipts. And as Green notes, if you make too many claims, the cost of your premium could increase or you may even be canceled when you next try to renew.