Home Owners Insurance
I read an interesting article in a newsletter I get from AAA, A Quick Guide To Home Owners Insurance. They had some good points and I thought I would share some of them with you.
It started off saying that the most important thing to know was what your policy does and does not cover. I know when I went in for my policy, there were so many points that I started to glaze over the first time. Just let me sign the paperwork and get out of here! is what was going through my head. But after insuring cars and homes over the years I have gotten better at asking questions and trying to understand it all.
Most insurance will cover basics, like damage from fires, tornado’s and theft. But you would be hard pressed to find one that automatically covered any damage from flooding, hurricanes and earthquakes, acts of terrorism or nuclear meltdowns. Most homeowners are shocked after an event like this, to find they have no coverage. Know the details of what is NOT covered as well as what IS.
Some of the basics of home owners insurance:
You need to get enough insurance to cover building your home back from scratch. Always get ‘replacement value’ rather than ‘actual cash value’.
Keep an inventory of possessions, and get a rider for expensive items like furs, jewelry or antiques. This is a smaller fee than you may realize.
Check your ‘loss of use provisions’, so that you have a time frame for how long they will pay for you to rent while out of your home.
Other things that are not generally covered would be:
*Damage from poor maintenance or neglect. Always keep your home well maintained.
*Sewer back ups and mold.
*Damage caused by pests such as termites, birds or rodents, or pets.
*Home office equipment.
Consider taking some protective steps. You can document valuables and store the documentation in a different place, along with important paperwork. A banks safety deposit box is perfect. Saving a back-up of computer files in a cloud environment as well as in your home can save you a lot of pain later.
Review your policy annually to see if it still fits your needs. You may have to up your coverage, or lower it, as time moves forward. But most of all, understand what your policy does and does not cover.
While on the topic of Home Owner’s Insurance, if you have a loan on a home and are married, you may want to make sure you have a life insurance policy that will cover the amount of the loan. If your family depends on two incomes to cover expenses, the one left behind may be in danger of loosing the home due to an inability to cover the monthly mortgage payments. If you already have a life insurance policy, review it annually to make sure that you have enough to cover the payoff of the mortgage, at the minimum.
Home Owners Insurance