Your home is the most important investment you’ll ever make and the right insurance coverage will help you maintain your investment for years to come. The last thing you want to do is file an insurance claim and find out that the things you assumed were covered are not. Get empowered! Make sure you have the right coverage for your home.
Protecting your Assets
Whatever the size or style of your home, for you it’s your castle. You want to make sure your insurance will cover your home completely if something were to happen to it. A 2008 study from Marshall & Swift found that two-thirds of homes are underinsured. Many are unaware of the details of their coverage, but find their out of pocket expense to be unexpectedly high when disaster strikes. For example, when homeowners buy coverage to cover the amount of their mortgage alone they are unable to cover the cost of rebuilding, which is often much higher. Additionally, if you make changes to your home, such as improvements or additions, your coverage will need to change.
Your chance of loss
Fire and natural disaster are the obvious reasons to have home insurance – but did you know that flood is a potential risk for every homeowner, and not just for homeowners in coastal areas? Additionally mold, sewage backup, and animal or insect damage are common problems costing homeowners billions of dollars each year – and these are often not covered by standard homeowner policies. Our InsuraMatch agents are trained professionals who are there to make you aware of your coverage. Talk to them and ask them to assess if you are at risk for any issues based on your home’s location, age and other factors. They can help you find a policy that will protect you from these often large, unexpected expenses.
Your risk tolerance
There is a reason mortgages have insurance built into them, because the bank wants to be protected should loss occur and they end up foreclosing on your property. Be proactive like the bank – if you’ve purchased minimal coverage envision what out of pocket you may be able to afford should something happen to your home. Can you afford the extra costs of a rebuild? Your new home looks perfect today, but can you afford to pay for damage not covered by your policy should the unexpected happen? A horrible news story from late 2013 recalled how an Indiana couple discovered mold in their home which required over $90,000 in repairs and made them so ill they needed to move out. It’s important to read the fine print, mold is covered in some situations and not others; in their case it was not.
Homeowners insurance is also there to protect visitors to your home. If something were to happen to a person inside your home, anything from a slipping on a wet floor to a dog bite, you are responsible. For example, if someone were to fall on your property, you would be liable for their medical bills - imagine that person has no insurance and those bills go into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Add to that loss of work, you may have to support that person and their family – again you would have to potentially pay hundreds of thousands of dollars. Lastly, add to this mix the possibility that their lawyer decides to sue you for say, emotional distress or a myriad of other reasons – the amount can skyrocket. Liability insurance is a standard part of most insurance policies, however it is important to make sure it is included, to prevent costly expenses down the road.
Individual and Family
While parents of a college student are indeed footing the bills for many things, don’t assume that students are automatically covered by their parents’ homeowner policies. In fact, even if they are covered, it is usually only partial – so additional insurance is needed for dorms, fraternity/sorority houses or apartments especially if their residences contain valuable items.
Talk to a professional
This brief article only skims the surface of what you need to know about home insurance. Our InsuraMatch agents spend each and every day helping consumers with their individual needs, and they are trained in every aspect of homeowner’s insurance. Our pros can help you understand and choose a coverage that fits your unique situation; they are independent agents which means they will offer alternatives plus have the expertise to know where you can get the best value.