7 Tips Every Homeowner Need to Know About Insurance
1. WHAT IT COVERS
Most home insurance policies will pay for damage to your home & possessions in the events of storms, fire, theft, or vandalism. Home insurance also provides liability insureance if someone gets hurt on your property and decides to file a lawsuit. Home insurance can also cover the costs of a hotel if you are temporarity displaced from your house.
2. WHAT IT DOESN'T COVER
Standard policcies have exclusion, including; earthquakes, power failure, war, nuclear hazard, government action, faulty zoning, bad repair or workmanship, and defective maintenance. Flooding and water damage are usually only covered in certain conditions
3. YOU SHOULD SHOP AROUND
Take the time to research your prospective insurance agencies before you commit to a policy. Read reviews and consider recommendations from friends and family. Finding a cheap rate is great - but remember that in the case of an emergency you will need to be dealing with the insurance company directly. Having an insurance company with great customer service can really help alleviate some of the stress in an already stressful situation with your home.
4. HOW TO LOWER YOUR RATES
Did you know that having things like a working smoke detector and burglar alarms can lower your rates Preventative actions can reduce premiums. Insurance agents typically price your premium based on how much risk they foresee. So, by reducing your liability risks, you can qualify for lower rates.
You may also save some money by bundling your other insurance policies, like car or life insurance, with your home owners.
5. DON'T WAIT TO FILE A CLAIM
Make sure you report any possible claims as soon as possible. Many insurance companies have a time limit for reporting claims. If you wait too long, you may not be eligible for benefits, especially if waiting has caused the problem to worsen. This is especially true in instances of water damage - where mold can set it quickly and raise the costs of repair.
6. KEEP A RECORD
It is important to document everything that occurs during a loss. Write down the damages, and what you have done to help mitigate the damages.
In addition to saving receipts, contracts, and appraisals, document phone calls by writing down who you spoke to and when. Insurance claims can be cumbersome and confusing. Don't depend on your memory alone to remember all the details.
7. HOW JEWELRY IS COVERED
Jewelry is usually covered in a homeowner's policy - but beware - it is typically only covered to a certain amount. When you sign up for homeowner's insurance, be sure to ask your agent about the limits. If you own jewelry which has a value that exceeds the standard policy, you may want to consider buying supplemental insurance so that incase it is lost or stolen- you are covered 100%.
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