Your home may very well be your most valuable asset. It is important to make sure you protect the investment you’ve made in your home with the right kind of insurance coverage. These insurance tips will help.
Getting the right coverage
It is important to get the right coverage for your home, your family, and the area in which you live. Don’t buy a policy without first knowing what you are getting. In fact, it is a good idea to get quotes from several different companies and explore the differences between the policies you are considering.
Remember that all policies are a little different when it comes to coverage. That is why there is such diversity in price from one carrier to the next. Break it down so that you can make an apples-to-apples comparison. Then, take the time to find out if the coverage is enough to meet your comfort levels.
Consider working with an independent agency that will show you a range of plans and coverages and walk you through the protections they provide. This allows you to make an informed decision about the insurance policy you ultimately purchase for your home and possessions.
Make sure to ask about things such as the following before you buy:
- Valuable Item Protection
- Flood and/or Earthquake Coverage (what is covered and limits)
- Code Compliance Coverage
- Insurance Limits
- Liability Protection
- Umbrella Insurance
- Replacement Cost vs. Actual Cash Value
Ask about any specific concerns you may have about your home and how well it and your family will be protected by the policies you are selecting. It is always better to know than to find out you do not have certain coverage when you need it.
Identify ways to lower insurance premiums. There are many ways you can do this that aren’t very expensive – and some that are. These are a few fixes that can have a big impact on your insurance premiums:
- Install a monitored security system.
- Bundle policies (purchase multiple policies like home and auto coverage from the same carrier).
- Increase deductibles.
- Don’t over-insure your home.
Of course, there are bigger investments you can make that will reduce insurance costs, like updating wiring and bringing your home up to current code, but you’ll need to weigh the value of the reduction vs. the costs of the upgrades.
Making sure you are compensated correctly for losses
When it comes to filing claims, it is important to file the claim sooner rather than later and to make sure you document everything. We are fortunate today in that almost everyone carries around a smartphone so that photographs and video evidence are easy to document. This will provide evidence of the devastation. However, having photographs and/or videos of valuable items inside the home before the covered disaster helps to provide evidence of ownership if your home is destroyed by fire or tornado.
Consider storing documentation offsite in a safety deposit box or online for digital images and video. There are many programs that allow digital storage for these things that can be critical in ensuring your compensation. Photo documentation may not be enough, however, if you have valuable items like antiques, jewelry, and furs. You will need to have special valuable items coverage and an appraisal of the item before the covered event.
When you have the right documentation and the right policies, you are much more likely to get the correct compensation for your losses.