Homeowners Insurance

Things you need to look for in your homeowners insurance policy:

  • Make sure you know what is excluded from coverage in the policy. Some do not cover hurricanes, floods and earthquakes. You'll need a separate policy to cover those situations.
  • Know what your cost limitations are for claims. A maximum amount is sometimes assigned to a particular coverage, jewelry as an example. You'll be covered but only up to a certain dollar amount.
  • Look to see what your replacement cost are if you lost everything. If your home is totally destroyed and you want to rebuild, then you'll receive the amount it is insured for. It is important to monitor your policy to make sure you are sufficiently covered by the replacement costs. If you have a $300,000 home destroyed and your policy only covers replacement cost for $250,000, then all you're going to receive is the $250,000. Keep your policy up to date.
  • Under the same circumstances, if you decide not to rebuild, then you will receive actual cash value which is the replacement cost minus the home's depreciation.
  • Do your research to understand how much liability you have. Again, sometimes the insurance policy will have a maximum limit on coverage for certain items such as accidents on your property, etc. You need to know what the coverage will be for medical care and court costs, etc.

Do you want to lower your homeowners insurance policy costs?

  • If you're in a position to pay a little more of the actual cost in a claim then you can raise your deductible and lower your premiums.
  • Stick with the same company. If you buy both your car insurance and your homeowners insurance together, most companies will give you a price break, but make sure it's worth it. Otherwise there is nothing wrong with going with separate companies.
  • Keep your home in good maintained condition and up to date with the latest protection against hurricanes or other conditions in your part of the country.
  • Protect your investment and your family. Good locks, security systems and smoke detectors are often identified for a possible discount on your policy.
  • Keep your insurance up to date. Replacement cost escalate and coverage needs to be changed. Have a yearly review. Market value is different. You're concerned about material, labor, contractors, etc.
  • If you spend alot of time at home, such as retirees and home business operators, you may be able to get a discount on theft insurance.
  • Insurance is getting harder to get in some parts of the country. Be loyal to your insurance company if possible and you'll be more likely to get a better deal.
  • Check to see if any organizations you belong to offer any special discounts. Sometimes large groups, associations, alumni's, etc. have negotiated special rates with companies.
  • Have a meeting with your agent and update your policy annually. Make sure the maximum limits are sufficient, especially the replacement costs discussed earlier.
  • Inquire if there are any special government backed insurance plans that may be in affect in your area. Flood insurance along the coastal areas are a good example.


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