For many people their home is their greatest asset, and it is crucial to have the proper protection in place. New England recently dodged a bullet as we held our breath to see if Hurricane Matthew would be hitting us or blowing out to sea. Similarly we have experienced ice dams in the last couple winters, and know that a little bit of snow and ice can do a lot of damage. How do you know if you have the right protection for your home? Here are some things you should know to get the most out of your homeowners insurance.
- Know the value of your home, and what it would cost to completely rebuild it. Some people confuse this with the price they could get if they sold their home, but that is not correct. Insurance companies take into account the cost of labor and materials, as well as if the fixtures in your home are builder’s grade or custom. Most home policies have a built in cushion if there is a widespread disaster and the cost of goods and labor sky rocket, but it is a good idea to confirm this with your customer service representative.
- Know and utilize things that can save you money without putting your home in danger. Often when people are trying to save money they try to cut things out of their policies. Before you lower your coverage and leave your home vulnerable see if there are any discounts available to you. Have your home and auto insured with two different companies? Combine them and save a good chunk on both.
- Take inventory of your personal property, make a list and keep it somewhere safe. Homeowners policies have built in coverage, but more can be added if your personal items surpass the amount included. A list will help you recognize how much you actually have, and it will also help you if you have a loss and you need to let the insurance company know what was damaged or stolen.
- Know what you are not covered for. Generally speaking most standard policies don’t cover things like flood, earthquake, or sump pump backup. Some items can be added on and some (like flood) you might need a separate policy for. If you have a question don’t be afraid to ask your customer service representative. That’s what they are here for.