Insurance needs you to think about unpleasant occurrences such as car accidents, medical problems, and emergency home repairs. Although it seems pessimistic to ponder about such possibilities, it is vital to protecting yourself and your family against some of the unpredictable surprises of life. Here are several homeowners’ insurance tips to help you be prepared for any eventualities.
1. Understand how the claims process works
Two policies may offer to give you a similar amount of coverage, but they may differ significantly when it comes to making a restoration after a loss. Thus, let an agent to explain to you how they handle claims. You will also need to know if they give the claims upfront or just a fraction of it. You also need to know if they pay for everything you have lost, or just what you have replaced. Some policies may give you a cash value of what you have lost immediately after the loss, and they cover the cost of replacement after you have made the replacement of your items. Therefore, you need to provide receipts as evidence. Such kind of an arrangement may give you problems especially if you have no cash reserves and when you have been wiped out. You also need to know their replacement timetable and how long you have to replace your items.
2. Take an inventory
There are two steps involved in putting forth a claim: you have to prove that you owned the items, and also prove their worth. This is easy to do when you still have the items. Take a video camera and sweep through the house to get everything you own on video. Don’t forget the closets, basement, offsite storage locker, and attic. If you don’t have a video camera, you may as well rent one. You can also decide to make a list of what you own then take photos of what you have. Stash the videos or pictures in a safe deposit box with a copy of your policy. If you keep your inventory in your home, make a copy and give it to your loved one for backup.
3. Buy floaters
Sometimes renters and homeowners’ policies put a limit on the amount you can take on big-ticket items such as jewelry, fine collectibles, and computer equipment to only a fraction of the value of replacement. If this happens,you may choose a special policy known as an “endorsement” or “floater” for each of the items. And if you buy something new, keep the receipt with your inventory and mail a copy to your insurance provider. If it is an older item, have it appraised and then keep a copy, and send another to your insurance agent. Doing this avoids the worry of having to prove that you owned an item and any disputes about what they were worth.
4. Keep track of inflation
Knowing about inflation is vital especially with a homeowner’s policy. It may have cost you $80,000 to build your house eight years ago. But it might cost you 100,000 today to replace it. Most companies have inflation protection that covers the ever rising cost of rebuilding. Robert Rosenkranz on huffpo advises that when going to renew your policy, speak to your agent to confirm that your amount of coverage is still realistic. Also, when you improve your home, add this amount to the total.
When you are a homeowner, you need to be assured that in case of any unpleasant occurrence, you are fully covered. You will eliminate any worries if you follow the above tips to ensure that your insurance coverage is in order.