Jul 19, 2017
For most of us, our home is our most valuable financial asset. But it's also a vulnerable asset. A toppling tree may damage the roof, a burglar could steal a television, or a neighbor could trip and fall on the front stairs. It is important to take steps to protect this investment!
Choosing the right homeowner's insurance company is important. Shop for homeowner's insurance the same way you shop for other insurance. It's a good idea to call several insurers for quotes. Sometimes you'll get a better deal if you buy your homeowners and auto insurance from the same company.
Consider a policy with a high deductible. The premiums are cheaper and you won't be tempted to make small claims. Even one or two small claims is often enough to prompt an insurer to cancel your coverage!
Homeowner's insurance policies usually cover the following:
- Property is covered from events like fire, wind, and theft. Most basic policies do not include coverage for landslides, earthquakes or floods. You must purchase additional coverage if you wish to be protected for these events.
- Personal property includes household goods and personal belongings: clothes, furniture, and television sets are all personal property. There are usually limitations on coverage for furs, jewelry, cameras, antiques, guns, special collections, silver, boats, and other specific items. Make sure you request "replacement value" coverage, the actual cost of replacing your valuables instead of the original cost of obtaining the item. If your television is stolen, replacement coverage would allow you to buy another similar television instead of giving you half of what you paid for your TV three years ago.
- Medical payments cover people other than members of your household who may be injured on your property. For example, if a neighbor trips on your front stairs and breaks an ankle, his medical expenses would be paid. If you trip and break your ankle, your health insurance would cover your medical expenses.
- Personal liability coverage protects other people and property from damages which are your responsibility. For example, if you were cutting down a tree in your yard, it accidentally fell on a neighbor's house, and you were sued, your insurance company would pay your legal fees and damages. Sometimes personal liability coverage extends to accidents that occur off your property which are caused by you, your household, or your pets.
How Much Insurance Do You Need?
Your insurance agent can help you determine the coverage you need. Most policies require that you insure your home for at least 80% of its replacement cost. Of course, it's always a good idea to insure your home for the entire cost (including materials and labor) of rebuilding your home today.
Now Is The Time!
Many of my clients turn to Maggie Merritt at Homer Smith Insurance for their homeowner's insurance needs. Maggie is experienced, professional, and thorough. I highly recommend giving her a call! Maggie can be reached at 360-385-3711 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are purchasing a home, let your agent know the policy, deductible, and coverage you choose. You won't have to pay anything up front. Your first year's insurance premium will be included in your closing costs. Simply let me know your insurance agent's name and phone number. And we'll take it from there!