Severe weather, crime and accidents are part of life, and every home experiences loss or damage at some point. You can’t predict the future or when you will experience a loss, but you can protect yourself financially. It seems like every insurance company offers something different. At Hartzell Insurance we represent many different homeowners insurance companies so let us tailor a policy to fit your needs.
Do I need Homeowner’s Insurance?
Homeowner’s coverage is not required by law. However, if you borrow money to buy a home, your lender will likely require you to buy a homeowners insurance policy in order for you to qualify for a home loan. In this case, your home is collateral and the lender wants the collateral maintained. The lender requires insurance so you can afford repairs if the home suffers an insurable loss.
At a minimum, your lender will want your policy to cover or exceed the amount you owe on the loan. Most home owners, however, want enough coverage to repair or replace the home. Hartzell Insurance can help you decide how much insurance is right for you.
Does my Home Insurance Provides Adequate Coverage?
A recent study concluded that 70 percent of home owners are under-insured. Many home owners think they are fully protected and are shocked to find out at the time of loss that their coverage is inadequate.
Getting the right homeowners insurance coverage for your home and belongings depends on many things, from crime rates, tornado risk and wildfire hazards in your area to the specific personal property coverage and deductibles that make the most sense for your household.
Here are a few key strategies you may want to consider to make sure you have adequate home insurance:
- Increase your liability insurance with an umbrella liability policy, which will provide liability coverage up to $1 million or more.
- Get replacement cost home insurance to cover what it would cost to replace your home and personal property, instead of “actual cash value” coverage, which will only cover the current depreciated value.
- Be sure to read over the policy’s exclusions carefully and ask your agent if any of these items are a risk, and if you can purchase additional insurance to cover them.
- Add coverage for specific items of value, such as jewelry, art and collectibles, through “endorsements” or “riders” on the policy.
When you buy home insurance, you are protecting your financial future. Take time to seek good advice from Hartzell Insurance.
Make Sure Your Personal Belongings Are Covered
When choosing the amount of personal property coverage you want for your belongings, consider what it would cost to replace all of your personal items after a total loss from a fire or covered loss. Many home owners assume that all of their belongings are fully covered until they experience a loss. Depending upon the type and amount of coverage in the policy, personal items may not be covered, or may only be covered up to a depreciated value. In most cases, this amount is far less than what it would cost to replace them.
The following steps can help you determine the value of your items and be prepared in the event that you need to file a claim:
- Compile an inventory of what you own in every room of your home.
- Take pictures of your personal belongings, particularly anything of high value.
- Keep receipts for all valuable items you purchase, including appliances.
- Record a replacement value for each item on your inventory.
- Go over this list with your Hartzell insurance agent and determine whether you need to purchase additional coverage to be protected in the event of a loss.
- Place your inventory list, images and receipts in a secure place such as a safe deposit or fire proof box.
Having these records after a loss will help you to complete the claims process more efficiently and accurately.