Top 6 Homeowner’s Insurance Coverage Tips
Buying your own home can be the biggest decision you ever make, besides deciding on your spouse or partner. Of the many things to take into account before you purchase your home, the effectiveness and cost of your homeowner insurance ranks high on the list.
Not only can homeowner insurance in some areas be hard to get, in most areas the premiums are usually more than you may expect. In addition, you can expect to pay more if you ever have to use your insurance.
This is why I’m here to help you today in this important area, by bringing your homeowner’s insurance to your attention. After you read this friendly reminder, I recommend reviewing your current coverage to make sure you are in good shape before you need to use your insurance.
Here are six of the most common situations you can encounter as a homeowner, which can cause you to pay more for insurance, or lose your insurance coverage altogether:
Insurance Tip #1) Dog and Animal Bites
As a responsible pet owner, you have to take steps to keep your pets safe, especially if they live outdoors. However, you have to consider the safety of others too. Close to 1 Million people a year in the US suffer animal-related injuries that require medical attention. When you call your insurer in the case that your pet injures someone, they will pay for that person’s injuries. Afterward, it’s common for the insurer to ask that you get rid of the animal, or you may risk getting dropped by them, making it difficult for you to insure your pet.
Insurance Tip #2) Sewer System Issues
Whether you have a septic tank or city sewer service, you are ultimately responsible for the part of the system that is on your property. Since most homeowner’s policies do not offer sewer system protection up front, many people may not be covered for sewer problems and not even know it.
Insurance Tip #3) High End Items and Jewelry Coverage
If your valuables are damaged due to a fire, flood, burglary or a disaster, it’s too late to get coverage for items you thought were already covered by your main policy, but are not. To protect valuables, it’s almost always required, and a smart move if not required, to purchase a separate policy for them.
Insurance Tip #4) Construction Theft, Damage and Risk
With home ownership comes repairs and improvements. While many areas of construction may be covered by your insurance, some may not be covered. It’s wise to know before you begin construction. As a homeowner, you may want to make improvements that increases your home’s value. In this case, it’s important to protect yourself from construction-related issues like construction theft, property damage and the general risk of having workers on your property.
Insurance Tip #5) Pool and Trampoline Injuries
One of the great perks of owning your own home is having fun in the sun in your back yard. Just be aware of the injuries and liabilities this can bring, including pool accidents, trampoline injuries and even cook-out mishaps. With the right coverage, you back yard can always be fun.
Insurance Tip #6) Roof Claims
The roof on your home takes a beating. Between the blistering sun in summer, frigid conditions in winter, plus damage from windstorms, lightning and hail, your roof is arguably the most important part of your home. Depending on your insurance carrier, when you file a roof claim for damage, many carriers will want to give you what they call the “actual value” for your roof replacement, which is different from the “replacement cost.” Consult your agent about your coverage now, so you are covered in the event you are faced with roof repairs or replacement. This one step alone can save you big bucks down the road.
When in doubt about whether you are covered for these areas enough or at all, your insurance agent will lay it all out for you. Insurance is one of those things we don’t want to pay for. However, if you’re under-insured, you could end up paying much more in the end.
My recommendation, so you have protection and peace of mind, is to sit down with your agent every six months and review your coverage. This way, when you need to make a claim, you won’t have to pay out-of-pocket expenses.