Homeowners Insurance: The In’s & Out’s of Your Policy’s Coverage
By Devin Valdez
Over the past few weeks our world has encountered hurricanes, floods, fires and earthquakes. Cities and countries have been ripped to pieces, as we watch helplessly. Millions of people have lost loved ones, homes and personal belongings to circumstances that were unforeseeable and unanticipated.
Now, more than ever, we need to be prepared for the unexpected. Besides protecting ourselves and families, homeowners need to be aware of how to protect their homes, in case of catastrophic emergencies.
Hurricane and winter seasons are nearing, and the weather is likely to be even more unpredictable. To be safe rather than sorry, it is highly suggested that all homeowners begin to investigate more into their homeowner’s insurance policies and coverages.
Hurricane Irma left behind close to $50 billion worth of damage, with over half of the damage caused by flooding- which is typically uninsured.
What’s Typically Covered:
Homeowners insurance usually covers damages due to wind storms, hail, fire, vandalism and lightning, but it more than likely DOES NOT cover damage caused by earthquakes or floods.
Typical types of insurance within your policy include:
- Dwelling Coverage: Coverage that will pay to rebuild or fix any damage that is covered by cause of loss.
- Other Structures Coverage: Pays for damages to detached buildings on your property such as sheds, a garage, fence, etc.
- Personal Property Coverage: Pays for items in your home that may be damaged or destroyed by a covered cause of loss. Items may include furniture, clothes, electronics, etc.
- Loss of Use Coverage: Will pay for expenses that can accrue if you need to leave your home while it is being restored. Expenses like food and lodge are included.
How to Check Your Policies Coverage:
Data shows that 2 out of 3 homes in America are underinsured. To avoid your home from falling into that category, make sure you contact your insurance agent and report any upgrades or specifics about your home you think they should know, to help generate a more accurate policy and coverage.
United Policyholders lists these 5 ways to doublecheck your coverage on your homeowner’s insurance policy.
- Take the time to explain your property…details, unusual features, collections, etc.
- Follow reasonable recommendations to increase limits
- Buy the biggest extended replacement cost endorsement you can afford. Extended replacement cost coverage, will pay up to 25 percent above your limits.
- Arrange for a professional home replacement cost estimator or building contractor to come to your house and provide an estimate of the cost to rebuild. Many insurers offer this service at no charge.
Extra Coverages to add to your Insurance:
Below is a list of items that usually ARE NOT covered by your homeowners insurance, but may be a good idea to buy the extra coverage.
- Mold Coverage
- Sewer Backup
- Earthquake Insurance
- Flood insurance
- Termite Infestations
- Jewelry/Fine Art/ Expensive Valuables
- Pool accidents: You may have your pool covered in your policy, however what may not be covered is if there is a drowning in your pool. It may be wise to purchase additional liability insurance.
The main point of this article is to not find yourself at a loss should tragedy strike. Your home is a big investment, so it may be wise to fork out a few extras dollars, to obtain the right coverage for your home.
Should you have any more questions regarding your homeowner’s insurance policies, give your agent a call today!
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