Your home is one of your biggest assets, and protecting it should be a top priority. But after going through the long and sometimes stressful process of finding the right home for your family, deciphering the details of a homeowners insurance policy can seem like a daunting task. Here are 5 things to keep in mind when you’re taking this important step.
Most flood damage is not covered by basic homeowners insurance.
A 2016 Consumer Insurance Survey found that 43% of homeowners incorrectly believe that damage to their homes from flooding is covered under a standard homeowners insurance policy. From 2013-2017, the average residential flood claim was $50,000 – an expense that could result in a major financial setback for you and your family.
Make sure you’re protected, especially if your home is in an area that is at risk for flooding. A flood insurance policy will protect your home and covered contents from certain types of flood losses as designated by the National Flood Insurance Program. A flood policy is purchased as a separate policy through the federal program (NFIP) or through a servicing carrier known as a write your own carrier.
Additions to your home aren’t automatically covered.
About to start a big remodeling project on your home? If you’re planning to make changes that will make an impact on the value of your home, you’ll need to update your homeowners insurance policy to reflect those changes. It’s best to talk to your insurance company before the renovations begin to avoid any issues and ensure that you’re covered during the renovation process.
Some of your valuables may not be completely covered.
If your diamond ring disappears or valuable artwork is stolen, your standard homeowners policy may not compensate you for the loss. Homeowners policies include coverage for your belongings and personal property, but some special items like jewelry, furs, silverware, antiques, collectibles and other valuables have limited or no coverage and need to be insured separately.
Valuable possessions insurance covers personal property that may have unique value, cannot be replaced or is subject to special types of losses such as breakage or mysterious disappearance. It can be added to your homeowners policy or may be written as a separate policy. It’s a good idea to keep an updated inventory of your belongings and their value, and check periodically with your SBI agent to make sure all of your valuables are adequately covered.
Your homeowners policy can cover theft of personal property, even if you’re not at home.
Surprisingly, standard auto insurance does not cover personal property or contents stolen from your car. But most homeowners policies offer an option to include off-premises theft coverage as an endorsement, which covers you for theft of your personal property away from your residence.
If your policy only covers the market value of your home, you may not be able to afford to replace it after a total loss.
Inflation rates on building materials and construction costs rarely track with real estate values. As a result, rebuilding a home can often cost significantly more than expected. Make sure your homeowners policy contains guaranteed replacement cost coverage. This protects you if the cost to reconstruct your home is higher than your current limit of coverage. Also be sure that your insurance includes rebuilding your home to code. Very often, local ordinances and building codes change over time, which may require additional costs.
The best way to find out exactly what coverage you need to be fully protected is to talk to an insurance agent about your unique situation. We are ready to help! Fill out the form below or give us a call to get your home, your valuables and your family covered.
One of our insurance advisors will reach out to you to review your information and present you with the appropriate homeowners insurance solution.