When shopping for homeowners insurance, many people simply choose the lowest premium presented to them. This can be especially true when it comes to buying a new home. With everything else that is going on at the time, homeowner’s insurance seems like just one more thing to sign off on and move on. Whether you are buying a home or simply looking for a new policy, it’s a good idea to slow down and take a look at your policy before you accept it. If you don't take your time when shopping for homeowner's insurance, it can lead to errors that can cause additional premiums due or uncovered claims.
A Trusted Agent
We always recommend that you work with an insurance professional that you know and trust. You can purchase insurance from your mortgage company or 1-800 numbers, but we have found that people are most satisfied when they work with a local, licensed, independent, insurance professional that works with them one on one. When it comes to protecting your largest financial investment, you will want to work with someone you know and trust.
Look At The Replacement Cost Calculations
No, it’s not going to be what you paid for the house or even what it’s worth. The replacement cost is the estimated cost of building materials and labor to rebuild and repair your home. And an accurate replacement cost calculation depends on accurate information about your home. Most companies will use information about your home gathered from the county property appraiser website. With out getting more detailed information from you, there may be errors in the Replacement Cost calculator. Look for errors like listing the wrong type of flooring (is it hardwood or laminate?), errors in the number of bathrooms, and missing special items such as a library or jacuzzi tub. Always ask for a copy of the Replacement Cost Estimate (RCE) to check for accuracy.
Cover Your Property
What isn't included in your Replacement Cost Estimate is the value of your personal posessions that you will be putting into the home. This is something that is often overlooked when shopping for homeowner’s insurance because the focus is on the house and not the things inside it. You will also want to make sure you have appropriate coverage for special items, such as jewelry and antiques.
Look Closely at the Policy
Homeowners insurance policies include many separate coverage limits, deductibles, endorsement (options), and credits. Be sure to review each item in the policy to make sure you fully understand what you are covered for.
Accuracy is the key to a homeowner’s policy that covers everything you own properly, along with valuing your house appropriately. Take the time to review the Replacement Cost Estimate, your personal possessions coverage, and look closely at the policy. And of course, work with someone you know and trust. If you ever have a claim, you will be glad you did.
If you're not sure what your policy covers or if you would like us to review and compare our 40 homeowners insurance companies, please contact us!