3 Important Things to Know About Homeowner’s Insurance
How well do you know your insurance policy? One of the greatest mistakes homeowners make is not understanding the policies and coverage of their insurance. While it can feel overwhelming, it’s important to have a clear picture of what your insurance will do for you should you need to use it. Talking with your insurance agent will answer all your questions, but we want to share 3 important things t to get you started in your assessment.
Know What Your Policy Does and Does Not Cover
When it comes to insurance there are a lot of scenarios and possibilities. It is important to know what a policy does or does not cover. Most basic policies have limits, so extra coverage may need to be added to have you properly covered.
Most insurance policies do not cover wind, hail, earthquake, or flood damage. If you live in a high-risk area you may need extra coverage.
Read your policy and be aware of terms used. Some are very broad, and others may be more restrictive. Pay close attention to how the insured and insured location is defined in the policy. Be on the lookout for things that may be left out of coverage limits.
Know the value of the items in your home. Taking a home inventory can help you identify what kind of insurance you will need to cover valuables should they become lost or stolen. It will also help you decide if you need extra coverage for larger ticket items such as jewelry, art, or heirlooms.
It is very important for policy owners to check whether they have a recoverable or non-recoverable insurance policy. Not planning ahead in accordance with your plan may leave you with costs you are not prepared for or comfortable covering.
Know What Your Deductible Is
In the event of a loss, you’ll be responsible for your deductible. You don’t want the cost of your deductible to cause added stress to an already difficult situation. Plan ahead, have an emergency fund, and know what you are financially comfortable covering if the need arises for you to make a claim.
Remember there are options when it comes to deductibles (amount you pay out-of-pocket) and premiums (amount you pay for your policy each month). The higher your deductible the lower your premiums and vice-versa.
Know When It’s Time to Make Changes
Life is constantly changing, and it is important that you keep your insurance coverage up to date with your current needs. It is recommended that you have a personal insurance audit every few years to be sure your policies are in line with your assets, living situation, and lifestyle. Big life changes, like purchasing a new house, are good times to check in and possibly shop and compare rates to make necessary changes.
Talking with your insurance agent and doing an overall assessment of your possible risks and needs is the best way to get you adequately covered and to go over any needed changes. Also, knowing the basic terms of your insurance and being familiar with how it works and what is covered will help you to rest easy knowing you are prepared for unforeseen circumstances.
Some carriers may not provide the specific coverage you’re looking for and you may need to go elsewhere to get the protection you need. If you are unhappy with your insurance carrier or need a provider with more services, then this is also a good time to do some research and make the switch.
Consider getting at least three to four quotes from different home insurance companies. Be sure to assess coverages, limits, and deductibles. A simple search online will bring up opportunities for quotes and comparisons of companies. Also, check out customer reviews and see what consumers are saying.
While it is good to have insurance, what is more important is that you know exactly what your insurance will do for you should you need it. Finding out your insurance coverage is not what you thought can be a tough lesson to learn.
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