As a home owner, your lender requires you to carry home owners insurance in case of accidents on, or damage to your property. When shopping around, it is important to do your research, as no 2 insurance policies are the same. Its important to ask questions and read your policy. Experiencing a loss is devastating enough. The last thing you want to find out is it wont be covered. Here are a few questions to ask when looking for the perfect policy.
How much coverage do I need?
You want to avoid getting too little, as well as too much insurance coverage. There are different levels of protection. Lets look at Cash Value and Replacement Value. Cash value pays for less, yet saves you money on premiums. However, Cash Value pays you for the depreciated value, where Replacement Value pays for the full replacement cost of your home and belongings.
Talk with your insurance agent and look at what it would cost to rebuild your home, replace your belongings, and find the right amount of coverage that best fits your needs.
What is typically covered under a policy?
Personal Property- your valuables inside of your home.
Liability Coverage- If someone were to get injured on your property, this would be covered by liability insurance.
Dwelling- the actual house structure. Depending on certain insurance policies, you might need additional coverage for a detached garage, fence, shed, etc.
Additional Expense Coverage- This covers funds for expenses above what the policy holder was paying before the claim was made. For example, if you are displaced from your home, additional coverage would cover your living expenses, like lodging and transportation.
What should the deductible be?
Your deductible is what you need to pay before the insurance company covers the repairs. If your annual premiums are on the lower end, that typically means you have a higher deductible (similar to health insurance policy). On the flip side, if you prefer to pay a higher annual premium, with a lower deductible, that is a choice you can make. In any situation, it would be worthwhile to set up a separate bank account to cover emergency situations and your deductibles. Obviously, property damage and disaster doesn’t always come with a warning. Being financially prepared will help you when time comes.
Do I need Flood Insurance?
This depends on where you live. If you are in an area that gets a lot of rain, or standing water, it wouldn’t hurt to have the extra coverage. If you live in a flood zone, often times, your lender will require you to have the additional coverage. Understand, Flood Insurance covers damage caused by natural flooding. This does not apply to burst pipes, or other water damage situations to your home.
What is NOT covered under the standard Home Owners policy?
This is an important section of your policy you should read carefully. In some situations, you might be able to add on additional coverage: Flood Insurance, Earthquake Insurance, Aggressive Dogs Breeds, Jewelry/Art/Antiques, Sinkhole Coverage, Umbrella Insurance, Lack of Maintenance Damage, Sewer Backup.
How often can I change my policy?
You should review and research insurance policies on an annual basis to make sure you have the right coverage you need. You can make changes to your policy at any time.
Insurance coverage is meant to reduce financial uncertainty and make accidental loss manageable. We encourage you to fully understand your coverage to avoid unexpected surprises down the road. When you experience property damage, give Crew Construction and Restoration a call. Our team will work with you and your insurance company from start to finish.