No matter if you’re insuring your fourth home or your first, it’s always a good idea to do some research and ask questions to make sure you choose the best homeowners insurance policy that matches your current needs. While having an affordable monthly premium is important, it’s equally as important to have a policy that offers the protection you need before disaster strikes. You can speak with your insurance agent and an experienced insurance attorney from Bechert & Associates to determine the coverage you need and obtain answers to pressing questions regarding your insurance policy.
Top Insurance Policy Questions To Consider
Below we list and discuss some key questions you should consider before deciding on a homeowners’ insurance policy:
Does your policy cover replacement cost or actual cash value?
Under a replacement cost policy, the out-of-pocket deductible if your home is damaged is all you have to pay to repair it. Depreciation is factored into the claim payout under an actual cash value policy With an actual cash value policy, you may have to pay additional cash on top of the deductible to restore lost value in today’s market. Generally it’s worth the additional premium cost to guarantee your deductible cost alone will restore your home to its former value. Home repair or replacement is often covered at replacement cost, while personal property like appliances, furniture, and clothing are replaced at their actual cash value. Most of the time you can also upgrade your policy to insure personal property at replacement value.
Are luxury items fully covered under your homeowners insurance policy?
Most policies limit luxury item claims. Check with your provider to see if you need more coverage.
What kinds of damage are covered?
In Florida, standard policies don’t cover flood damage. You should check what is covered, and add flood insurance to your portfolio if you live in an area prone to flooding.
What are endorsements?
Endorsements tailor your standard policy to your individual circumstances, and where you can work out special coverage for fancy electronics or heirloom jewelry.
If somebody is injured in your home, are you fully covered?
The liability coverage section of your policy will detail the maximum amount the insurance company will pay in damages and legal bills. You need to make sure you have enough coverage for potentially extensive legal bills and medical bills if a visitor slips and falls in your home.
What’s the easiest way to lower your monthly premium?
You should figure out the highest deductible you can afford to pay out-of-pocket if a disaster occurs. Similar to car insurance, the higher your deductible, the lower your premium. The company may also offer other credits you can save money with, such as non-smoke credits, alarm system discounts, etc.
Is it less expensive to insure a newer home than an older home?
Thanks to improved safety features and updated construction techniques, homes that are constructed newer can generally be insured at lower rates than older homes. If your home is older, consider doing renovations and making sure your home is up to current building codes.
How similar are home policies?
Insurance companies offer many homeowners insurance programs, the most common of which is the HO3 policy, as it covers normal loss activity like theft, fire, and water damage.
What can you expect when making a claim?
Your insurance company needs to be there for you anytime you need them. Learn about the claims process from your agent, and make sure you can access a claims professional when necessary.
What can you do to ease the claims process?
Keep updated inventories of your home, with photo and video evidence. Proper documentation will speed your claims settlement up significantly.
Contact Us Today
It’s important to understand your home insurance policy and choose one that best suits your needs. If you believe your insurance claim was handled unfairly, call Bechert & Associates to speak with an experienced insurance policy attorney today.