5 Essential tips on home insurance
Making home insurance simple is one of our top priorities and we've put together a quick guide and essential tips.
Your house is the most cherished possession, largest asset, the place where you keep all your personal belongings and a key factor in your financial future. And home insurance protects it.
Home insurance is a type of personal property insurance that covers the damages and losses in a private residence. Usually, this form of insurance also offers liability coverage against any accidents in the property. Home insurance policies are fixed for a period of time during which the owner of the property pays an insurance premium to the insurer.
Homeowners can’t ignore this type of insurance. Leaving insurance out of your homeownership plans can cost you thousands of dollars down the road. If a natural disaster or any damage were to happen, you would be all on your own with no way to protect your largest investment. Policies can be long, hard to digest, but homeowners insurance is a vital part of homeownership.
Here are five essential things you need to know about your policy, how to search for one and choose the right one for you.
1. Know what your policy covers
Homeowners insurance protects your property from specific types of physical damage giving you peace of mind during the time you live there. The best things you can do is get to know your policy inside and out before coverage event starts. Ignoring this is the worst thing you can do. You can wait until something terrible happens and see if it’s covered, or get informed from the start to avoid a worry when catastrophe strikes.
There are different types of coverage. Basic policies cover the obvious occurrences like fire, vandalism and theft, but the other essential part of homeowners insurance is liability coverage. This would pay for costs incurred if anyone is ever hurt on your property including legal fees if the matter escalated to a lawsuit. And if you live in a condo, you have to purchase condo insurance to cover your unit and common areas.
Other insurance policies provide additional coverage. For example, some policies will cover the cost of shelter, accommodations or additional living expenses should you ever be forced to live elsewhere due to local disasters.
If you want extensive home insurance coverage, search for policies that cover items like mobile devices, items within your vehicle and other valuable belongings in your home. The crucial step here is to identify and select the policies that protect what you consider important. Thorough research and choosing the right policy is the only way to ensure peace of mind.
2. Know what your policy doesn't cover
Insurance policies are designed to cover specific damages or eventualities. You have to know what they cover, but you also have to know what your policy definitely doesn’t cover. The policy you choose needs to provide adequate cover for the possible threats that will cause financial loss if left uncovered.
Almost all coverage options will avoid covering damage from things like natural disasters, acts of war, poor craftsmanship and other destructive eventualities. However, water damage coverage will depend on your property’s location.
Normally, these policies vary between insurance providers and are different depending on the geographical area. For example, many insurance policies will cover against damage from rainfall and leaks but not from flooding. To ensure that your property is protected think about the possibility of flooding in your area due to weather conditions. Any insurance policy you purchase needs to cover you from any possible threats.
3. Search for options before deciding
With insurance, there is not such thing as a “good deal.” In this case, you get what you pay for. When you grab the cheapest insurance there is, you are setting yourself up for some trouble in the coming years.
There are some things to consider when choosing your insurance company. One factor that homeowners consider significant is the claiming process. When disaster strikes or damage occurs, what kind of company do you really want to deal with? In a bad situation, the last thing you want is a shady and inefficient policy provider just because you decided to go cheap.
The best way to research an insurance company’s reputation is to check reviews online and collect recommendations from friends and family who have claimed before.
4. Keep records of everything
Your insurance provider will need concrete proof every time you file a claim. To ease the process, you should keep records of all important documents right from the start. Keep records of dates, times, and all documents provided by the authorities and other parties when damage or natural disaster happen. Every receipt, estimates and appraisal forms should be in a safe and secure place, plus a backup online.
5. Don't wait to file a claim
Time is crucial every time you file a claim. And policies have strict time frames in place for claims. They want to be informed right away if they're going to enact upon your cover.
In the majority of cases, your insurance company should be the second or third call you make when an incident happens. 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. On these grounds, they’ll dismiss your claim and refuse to pay for repairs. Play it safe and make sure you contact your insurer as soon as possible when you first notice any damage.
These tips will point you in the right direction to begin your search. Insurance products aren’t the most exciting thing to shop for, but it’s vital to protect your home and enjoy homeownership worry-free.