Insurance and PCS: Keep Your Info Up-to-Date


Getting ready for a military move? You probably have a lot of questions about what you should do with your insurance. Do you need to tell your homeowner's insurance company when you are converting your home to a rental? Do you need to change your car insurance over a TDY?

Insurance is serious business and keeping your information accurate is an important part of your overall financial plan, so you don't want to mess this up.

According to Melanie Heart, a USAA insurance expert, said you should always communicate with your insurance company when you have changes. The professionals know when you need to change your coverage and when you don't, and they can guide you to understand what is happening. Heart said your insurance representatives can help you change your policy to fit the new situation and ensure that you have the right coverage.

Two places where people often get confused are the occupancy status of houses, and when in the process of a Permanent Change of Station (PCS) move you should change your vehicle and property insurance.

Heart advised that "the occupancy of a property must match the occupancy listed on the insurance, or the insurance could be void." That means it is essential to let your insurance company know when your property is vacant, when you are living in, and when someone else is living in it.

The occupancy status of the property can create limitations for various situations. For example, when my house was vacant because it was being renovated, it lost the vandalism and malicious mischief coverage that is usually included with homeowner's or rental property (also called fire or dwelling) coverage. I was able to continue that coverage, but at a significant cost.

But what about changing the address where your auto and property (renter's insurance) are located? Heart advised that you should wait until you are settled at your new permanent duty station.

How can you know the changes have been made? Heart suggested you check your monthly statement for the changes, but also consider contacting your company to make sure the changes went through.

Insurance policies are contracts between you, the insured and the insurer. Having inaccurate information on those policies can invalidate that contract, leaving you without the insurance coverage for which you are paying, and you think you have.

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