Obtaining insurance for your home can be a daunting challenge. With so many clauses, contingencies and contracts, not to mention the magnitude of what is at stake for you, it is simply overwhelming. Read on to learn how to navigate your way through the maze of homeowners insurance and be able to make your decision based on knowledge and facts with complete confidence.
When shopping for homeowners insurance, saving money is key. Having devices such as smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, and monitored home security alarms in place can offer great discounts. Remember to discuss these (and other) safety devices with your agent when negotiating your next homeowners insurance policy.
Be aware of what your home insurance actually covers. A regular home insurance policy doesn’t cover things such as flood damage. This type of insurance needs to be purchased separately through the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Another thing to consider is earthquake damage. If this is something that you may experience, you will have to buy specialized coverage from a private home insurance company. Luckily, both of these types of coverage are relatively inexpensive.
When you move homes, be sure that your belongings are insured for the move. This may mean buying insurance from the moving company. Your homeowner’s insurance policy may also cover items that are damaged, lost, or stolen in transit. Check with your insurance agent about a “special perils endorsement”, which will protect valuables during a move.
When considering insurance for your home, be sure to sign up with a deal that has a guaranteed replacement value clause written into it. This will ensure that your house will be covered no matter what the cost of materials and labor currently are. This helps if you are in an area that has seen and will see an increase in construction costs and property value.
To make sure that a homeowners insurance claim gets processed properly, you should have an recently updated inventory of the contents of your home. Anyone that has experienced loss can tell you that it’s difficult to remember all that you had at that time. Take pictures of everything, especially open closets and everything that’s in there.
Certain elements of your house can affect the cost of your homeowner’s insurance, no matter what you do. A swimming pool will automatically cause your rate to be more because of the liability. You will also see a difference in price depending on how close your home is to emergency services. You don’t need to be obsessive about choosing where your home is located to get lower rates, but these are things that you should simply keep in mind.
To protect your personal property in a rented residence, you need renter’s insurance. The landlord or property owner will have insurance to cover losses on the building, but not on the items inside your unit. This is your responsibility. Fortunately, renter’s insurance is quite affordable, and available from most insurance companies and independent agents.
To keep your coverage up to date, be sure to review your homeowner’s policy every year. Let your insurer know of changes in your home and property that may help keep your premiums down. For instance, if you have replaced a shake roof with something more fireproof, like composite shingles, you may get a premium reduction.
Hopefully you are now well prepared to take on the challenges of finding the right homeowners policy for you and your needs. Arming yourself with knowledge is always the best approach and insurance is no different. Keep a little notepad handy as you endeavor your selection and shop around for the best policy. Hold every company and what they offer up to a standard of excellence that serve your needs as a home owner best.