5 Essential Tips On Homeowners Insurance
Homeowners insurance is a vital part of modern home ownership. Policies can be long, hard to digest and are all too often ignored by most homeowners. In this article, we want to point out 5 essential things you need to know about your policy, how to search and pick one that’s right for you. Let’s start with:
1. Make sure you know what your policy covers
Homeowners insurance protects your property from specific types of physical damage which helps to give you all important peace of mind throughout your time living there. If you have no idea what you’re covered against, you’re seriously setting yourself up for some worry when catastrophe strikes. The worst thing you can do is ignore your policy, wait until something terrible happens and then see if it’s covered.
The most basic policies will cover the obvious occurrences like fire, vandalism and theft. The other essential part of homeowners insurance is liability cover as this will pay for costs incurred if anyone is ever hurt while on your property. Some policies will provide shelter cover which will pay for your accommodation should you ever be forced to live elsewhere for a period of time due to local disasters. You can also search for policies that cover items like mobile devices, items within your vehicle and other precious belongings within your home. Identifying and selecting the policies that protect the things you consider most important is a vital part of ensuring your everyday peace of mind, so it’s well worth some thorough research and objective selection.
2. Know what your policy doesn't cover
Policies are designed to cover specific eventualities, so it’s just as vital to have a very good idea of what your policy certainly does not cover. You’ll need to find policies that provide adequate cover for the threats that you think are most likely and will cause you the most financial loss if left uncovered. Almost all policies will avoid covering damage from things like natural disasters, acts of war, poor craftsmanship and other hugely destructive eventualities.
Terms towards water damage are usually dependent on location and can vary quite a lot between insurance providers and geographical areas. Many policies will cover against damage from rainfall and leaks but won’t cover flooding. Think about the area you live in, is flooding a possibility? How often are their earth movements or powerful weather conditions? You need to ensure you purchase insurance that covers the threats that are most likely to occur in your area.
3. Search thoroughly for options before deciding
Much like other services, with insurance you usually get what you pay for. Most people will look to grab the cheapest insurance they can find. Yes you want to get a good deal, but when it comes to claiming when there’s trouble, what kind of company do you really want to be dealing with? When weighing up your options don't forget to consider who you'll be claiming from should things go wrong. Check reviews online and see if you can collect recommendations from friends or family who have claimed before, think about the size and reputation of the company you’re getting your policy from. In a bad situation the last thing you’re going to want is to have to work with a policy provider that is shady, unempathetic and inefficient (cheap).
4. Keep thorough records of everything
When something awful happens and you need to claim, your insurance provider will want to see proof of everything to ascertain the truth of the situation. The more information you have documented the easier this process will be. Should damage occur, be sure to write down and keep records of dates, times and all documents provided to you by the authorities and other parties involved. Keep your receipts, estimates and appraisal forms in a very safe and secure container in the house and preferably backed up online. Dropbox and Google drive are great examples of handy online cloud storage services for digital files.
5. Don't wait when it comes to filing a claim
Time is crucial when it comes to claiming. Policies will almost always have strict timeframes in place for claims to be successful. In the vast majority of cases your insurance company should be the second or third call you make when an incident actually happens. They'll want to be informed right away if they're going to enact upon your cover. In most cases, waiting can give your insurance company the right to claim that additional damage has escalated due to your lack of action within an acceptable time frame and on these grounds can dismiss your claim and refuse to pay for repairs. Play it safe and make sure you contact your insurance company as soon as you first notice damage.
Those are the essentials! We hope these introductory tips have helped point you in the right direction to begin your search. Home insurance isn't the most exciting thing to shop for but it’s definitely one of the most vital elements of your homeownership. Making sure all your insurance boxes are ticked goes a long way in helping to remove worry from your daily life in your new home, so it’s more than worth it!