Smart Ways to Purchase Home Insurance

Smart Ways to Purchase Home Insurance – Protecting your home and possessions with a home insurance policy is critical, but what good is an insurance policy if it doesn’t fit your needs?
Educating yourself about the details of your home insurance policy can help you maximize coverage and cut costs.
Assess Your Coverage Level
If a natural disaster destroyed or extensively damaged your home, would you have enough insurance to cover the losses? The U.S. Government Accountability Office reports that most residential homes are underinsured by an average of 22%. If you’ve underestimated your home’s value-or if you’ve recently renovated or added an additional room or structure-you may be underinsured. If you fail to assess your home insurance coverage before disaster strikes, you may be left out in the cold.
Identify Coverage Gaps
Are you covered for “cash value” (the item’s depreciated value) or “replacement cost” (cost of the item brand-new)? Do you have luxury items such as jewelry that are valuable enough to require riders? Identifying the gaps in your home insurance policy can help prevent unfortunate surprises when filing a claim.
Take a Home Inventory
If you had to file a claim, would you be able to prove the value of your lost, stolen or destroyed items? According to the Insurance Resource Council, less than half of homeowners keep a proper home inventory. Keeping a list of your home’s valuable items can help you recall the value of your items when filing a claim. Collecting original sales receipts, serial numbers of big ticket purchases and photographs/video of the items is recommended when taking a home inventory.
Understand Flood Insurance
Despite the fact that 11 million homes lay within flood zones, over 65% of homeowners do not have flood insurance. Flood damage is not covered by a standard home insurance policy, and must be purchased separately. If a hurricane or other natural disaster causes a flood, the resulting damage to your home will not be covered by a standard home insurance policy.
Cut Home Insurance Costs
Why pay a fortune for insurance when you could get the same coverage for less? Increasing your deductible from $250 to $1,000 could cut your premium by up to 30%. Installing a home security system may save as much as 20% on your rate.
Shop Around
Now that you’ve done your homework, shouldn’t you be rewarded with a better rate? Shop around for quotes and see if you can find a cheaper policy.