Life is complicated, insurance doesn't have to be.
Congrats! You’re a homeowner. Or, maybe you’re touring houses for
sale and about to be a homeowner. Either way, welcome. Welcome to a
stream of never-ending projects, fun surprises and a place to call
your own. We all know houses keep us busy, so it makes sense that your
homeowners insurance isn’t something you dwell on.
And besides the initial set up of your homeowners insurance,
why should you dwell on it?
Well, in some cases you may be underinsured or even missing
out on potential discounts! So, we’ve rounded up seven things you
may not know about your homeowners insurance coverages:
1. It's a good idea to start with an independent
Buying a bath mat online is convenient, but buying insurance
is a bit more complicated than a bath mat. A local independent
insurance agent will help you with an “insurance checkup”. This
will evaluate any home updates and coverages to help you avoid
potential gaps. They can also help you compare quotes
from multiple insurance carriers to fit your specific situation.
2. Your homeowners insurance policy may not
cover water damage
This can be devastating!
Most polices only cover certain types of water damage. Water
damage that originates from inside your house or from a
storm-created opening is typically covered by homeowners
insurance. However, this often excludes floodwater, broken
water mains, and other water-related damages. Before storm
season hits, it’s important to know what's covered and if
you should consider purchasing separate flood insurance.
Storm Damage & Homeowners Insurance: 5 Things You Need to
3. Your policy has exclusions and special limits,
and you need to know what they are
It’s easy to buy and forget about your insurance. But, every
insurance policy has exclusions, like floods and earthquakes. Your
policy may also include special limits on items such as jewelry,
trailers and watercraft on your property. Exclusions are
listed throughout your policy. A good way to understand your policy’s
exclusions is to review it with your local independent insurance
agent. They can break it down for you to make sure you avoid potential
gaps in your coverage.
4. Tell your agent about updates and changes to
You buy your house, you buy
insurance, they send you a packet, and then you don’t think
about it again. But, now let’s say you’ve lived in your home
for a few years. Maybe you renovated your kitchen, or put on
a new roof. Or, maybe you added a central alarm system.
Updates like this can change the value and rebuilding cost
of your home. If you don’t update your policy and tell your
agent, you may be underinsured and might be missing out on a
possible discount for your new alarm system.
Coverages like our guaranteed
home replacement cost may be greatly effected as time goes
on. Some coverages may even be void.
How to Select the Best Homeowners Insurance Coverage
5. Maintaining a personal home inventory may help
your claims process
The last thing you want to think about after your home
suffers a devastating loss is, what did I have in there? An easy
way to create and maintain a personal home inventory is to take
pictures of each room of your house every year. This may help jog
your memory about what was inside your house. This is important to
keep updated since homes seem to accumulate more and more things
as time goes on…
6. Your coverage amount may not be the same as the
cost of your house or the market value
There is a big misconception that your homeowners insurance
coverage amount is the same as what you paid for your house. That is
wrong! If your house needs to be rebuilt you may need coverage for
debris removal, materials, and labor. Which, in some cases, exceeds
the amount you paid for your house or the market value. It's also
important to note that both the market value of your home and the cost
to rebuild will vary greatly.
7. Cheapest is not always best
Comparison shopping is in our blood. And, if you're a
self-proclaimed frugal shopper you've likely found that sometimes, you
get what you pay for. Similarly, when comparing insurance quotes the
cost may not be the best indicator of the best fit for you. You need
to ask yourself is the insurance company financially sound? What is
their claims service like? Are they a stable company?
We know owning a home can certainly be hard, but we don’t
think your homeowners insurance should be. To learn more about our
homeowners insurance coverages, click below. To get a quote, find your
local independent agent with our agency locator tool.
*Products referenced may not be
approved/available in all states. Limitations and conditions may
apply. Premium will be based on benefits chosen and policy rates
available at time of application.
Disclaimer: This article is not expert advice. The
analysis of coverage is in general terms and is superseded
in all respects by the Insuring Agreements, Endorsements,
Exclusions, Terms and Conditions of the Policy. Some of the
coverage mentioned in this material may not be applicable in
all states or may have to be modified to conform to
applicable state law. Some coverages may have been
eliminated or modified since the publishing of this
material. Discounts may not be available in all states.
Limitations and conditions may apply. Premiums will be based on
benefits chosen. Please check with your local Independent
Auto-Owners Insurance Agent for details."
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