Whether you’re a first-time home buyer or you’re just shopping around, buying a new homeowners’ insurance policy can be confusing. Because not all policies are created equal, the choice you make could end up helping or hurting you in the event of an accident or disaster. However, with a little bit of knowledge about what common things most policies cover, you can make the choice that is right for you and your situation.
Ready to get covered? Here are four things that most homeowners’ insurance policies will cover:
Structure of the Home
Coverage for the structure of your home is what most people think of when homeowners’ insurance comes up. That’s because it is the most important part of any policy. To figure out how much coverage you need for the structure of your home, you need to estimate the value of your home—not just the mortgage amount, but the current value (it may have appreciated since you bought it), and perhaps even the cost of rebuilding your home if the worst should happen.
In Miami, we know all too well the damage that catastrophic storms can cause to our homes. Unfortunately, when storms like Hurricane Matthew come to town, the costs of labor and supplies like lumber can increase because so many people are affected and demand skyrockets. Make sure that you include these variables in your estimate.
Homeowners’ insurance doesn’t just cover your home. Many policies also protect your personal possessions from damage and lost. If you decide to include your personal possessions in your coverage, you will need to take an inventory of everything you want to be covered—from your nice leather furniture to your kids’ gaming system. If you make any major purchases, be sure to keep the receipts.
There are a few ways to go about creating your home inventory. Perhaps the easiest is to document your possessions using a video recorder (before using this method, be sure that your insurance provider accepts this type of documentation). Another way to create an inventory of your possession is to create a spreadsheet that documents the descriptive information of each object. Such information might include name, dimensions, serial number, color, and price. One benefit of this method is that you can attach supporting documents, such as receipts and photographs, directly to each entry. If neither of these inventory strategies works for you, try searching for one of the many computer applications that are currently on the market.
Additional Living Expenses
In some cases, damage to your home could make it uninhabitable. If this happens, coverage for additional living expenses, or “loss of use” coverage, will ensure that you and your family have a place to stay while repairs are made to your home. The amount of coverage you can get for additional living expenses depends on your standard of living at the time you had to vacate your home. With this type of coverage, you can also be reimbursed for meals you have to eat at restaurants, but only if you don’t have access to a kitchen. Be aware that you still have to pay for as much as you would have normally spent on groceries. Anything above that (and within your standard of living) should be covered.
What happens when you or a member of your family (or even your pet) cause damage to someone else’s property? What about if someone is injured on your property? With liability insurance, you’re covered. Liability limit amounts usually start at about $100,000, but it is a good idea to take into account any of your assets that might be at stake should you have to go to court.
No matter what type of policy or the amount of coverage you have, the insurance company’s goal is the same: to pay out as little as possible. With the right legal representation, your results could be different. So, need help getting your claim approved? The insurance experts at RRBH law will work with you and your insurance company to get you the amount you deserve. We don’t get paid if you don’t get paid.