Your fortress, your safe haven, a place to provide comfort either in solitude or with the ones you love. A place to laugh and to grow, to raise a family and a future. Surely such a place is worth protecting. A place like this that you look forward to returning to at the end of a long day, a tiring business trip, or even a fun-filled vacation, should not be left uninsured or under insured in the face of the many perils it can endure.
When a storm slams through your front door or another catastrophe strikes, the whim of fate can determine the severity of damages you suffer. But when it comes to how quickly or smoothly you are able pick up the pieces, your destiny may have been decided 5, 10 or more than 20 years ago – when you chose your home insurer.
Know How Much Is Enough:
When Jerry and her husband, Kurt, lost their home in a wildfire last year, their insurance company sent a check within weeks for roughly $394,000 to rebuild the structure. The only problem: The estimate Jerry and Kurt got to rebuild their house came to $611,000, leaving the couple more than $200,000 short.
Dwelling– Coverage for repairs or rebuilding your home
Other Structures– Coverage for structures on the property, but separate form the dwelling. Examples of detached structures include as garages, sheds, fences, driveways, patios, pools, and more
Personal Property-Electronics, furniture, clothing and other personal items are covered in the event of a covered loss
Loss of use– In the scenario you have to temporarily move out of your home, lodging and living expenses will be covered
Liability-Coverage is provided in the event of bodily injury or property damage to others on your property. You and your family members will also be covered if an accident were to occur off of your property. Should you be sued and the claim is covered, defense costs will be covered
One of the biggest mistakes we see when people are looking for Homeowners Insurance is they think all they need is to cover the homes current market value or to pay off their mortgage. However, Home Insurance is intended to pay the costs to rebuild if it is destroyed. This amount of coverage may or may not be the same as what you paid for the house or have left to pay. Many homeowners find themselves underinsured in the face of disaster and this has become a pervasive problem that does not come to light until after a fire, flood or other devastating loss.
Know the difference between replacement cost and actual cash value. Replacement cost value does not take depreciation into account. In the event your home is damaged or destroyed, your homeowner’s policy will pay out what it would cost to replace or rebuild your home based on a similar home in today’s market. Actual cash value does take depreciation into consideration and can be calculated by subtracting the depreciation from the replacement cost. In other words, actual cash value is the market value of the house minus depreciation incurred for the amount of years you owned the home for.
And remember, your Homeowners Insurance does not cover everything. Damage from flood or earthquake requires separate insurance policies. What About Those Extras? Mold and sewage backup are not always automatically covered. The coverage for sewage is not overly expensive, so it is worth the extra dollars. But mold? If you can get this coverage it will come at a high cost but compared to the expense of mold removal, it should be considered.
Your Home Insurance comes with a standard loss deductible, but it is not an all loss flat deductible. In the event of major weather events your deductible is often a small percentage of your coverage, but that small percentage can mean thousands of dollars of out of pocket expense.
Art, jewelry, antiques, computer equipment, are they covered for replacement value under your standard homeowners? It is best to be sufficiently covered for these things and have a clear appraised value of them. A floater is good sound advice to making sure these precious, sometimes irreplaceable, items are adequately covered.
With so many variables your best and soundest advice is to talk to or sit down with a qualified insurance agent who has experience and the knowledge to get you the best Homeowners Insurance coverage. Call, click, or stop by the office for a free, no-obligation quote.