Settling into a new home is a great feeling, but don’t get too comfortable just yet. The next step is to protect your home by finding the right home insurance. There are many threats to your home that you have no control over such as fires, natural disasters, and theft. If you’re in the market for home insurance, then here’s what you can keep your eyes peeled for.
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Coverage and Affordability
Finding rock bottom prices shouldn’t be a goal, but finding the right coverage for a reasonable price should be. It’s easy to end up overpaying if you don’t shop around. Get a quote and have your home insurance made easy by finding the right price and coverage based on your particular needs. There are many things, like “acts of god” or war, that may not be covered. So, how much coverage you really need is the first thing you should look into to find the right plan.
Chances are, if you own a home, you have multiple people parading through it at various intervals of the day. Personal liability covers you if any injuries or damages to belongings happen on or around your property. If your dog bites the neighbor, your insurance can cover the doctor’s bills. If your maid slips while cleaning a high shelf, then you’re covered if she asks for compensation for injuries. There are many things to consider when determining if liability insurance is right for you. We live in a litigious world. Not having coverage in the case of an accident on your property could really dampen the joy of owning your own home, so mull it over when searching for home insurance.
Natural disasters are one of the main reasons people get insurance for their homes in the first place. There’s no predicting a tree falling on your house or a forest fire making its way to your neighborhood. If something damaging like this happens, then you’ll need the financial assistance to rebuild through what you call “building” insurance.
The property your house sits on costs more than the house itself. So, rebuilding costs may not be as high as you think, and your coverage could potentially cover all the costs.
If your home contains highly valuable items, such as family heirlooms, instruments, or other expensive items that would be very costly to replace, then high-value home insurance is something to look into. If your home and the items in it cost more than average, then your home insurance policy may not be able to cover all the costs if there’s a need for rebuilding due to a natural disaster or items lost to theft. You don’t want to be paying on insurance and still wind up paying out-of-pocket to cover rebuilding or replacement costs. How can you know if you need high-value home insurance? Well, you might need to calculate the cost room by room, but if your home costs $750,000 or more, you most certainly do.
Most basic insurance plans will have your back in the case of an accident. For example, if your 16-year old accidentally presses the gas instead of the brake and crashes into the garage door, your insurance should cover that. The same goes for any glass items in your house like windows or bathroom mirrors. On the other hand, there are many exclusions to this, like if the damages happened while cleaning or making repairs.
However, there are a lot of things that homeowners insurance won’t cover—like storm drain damage, earthquakes, flooding, and other seemingly accidental (meaning you had no control over it) incidents. Knowing what your policy doesn’t cover is just as important as knowing what it does. If you live in a high-risk area for earthquakes or floods, then you’ll need to get a separate policy.
Be Prepared for New Clauses
It wasn’t until the World Trade Center attacks that people actually started paying attention to the “act of war” clause that protects properties in the case of war. Many companies are now excluding terrorism from coverage plans. This is just an example of how coverage clauses can change depending on what’s going on in the world. Asking questions to the insurance sales representative could save you a lot of face in the end.
Familiarize Yourself with Your Policy and the Terminology
There are all kinds of jargon you need to be educated on before you start looking for your home insurance policy. The good news is that once you learn it, it’s pretty much the same for all types of insurance, so you only have to learn it once. Here are a few to get you started:
- A deductible is what you pay out-of-pocket before your insurance will pay for any damages, court costs, stolen property, etc.
- A premium is what you pay monthly or annually for the insurance. The lower the deductible, the higher the premium.
- Replacement costs are what it cost to replace your property or home. Most companies will offer it, but make sure the maximum amount is high enough for the contents of your home and the home itself.
- Riders are policies that cover expensive items that can’t be covered under a regular policy. Things like jewelry or instruments will require an additional policy.
Along with learning the various terms, you’ll be hearing, make sure you know their place in your policy. Knowing all the ins and outs of your policy is the only way to ensure you’re signing to the right plan and getting the most out of it.
A home is a sacred place where some of your most precious memories will be made. Protecting it is most certainly a worthy investment that you will not regret, especially in the unfortunate case of an accident. By getting home insurance, you’re not just looking out for your property, but you’re safeguarding your loved ones and anyone else who steps foot inside. Knowing the steps and getting the right coverage for your home is just another way to show your family and friends that you care, so don’t procrastinate and secure home insurance today.