Having your own home is one of the biggest financial commitments you’ll make in your lifetime. In the United States, approximately 45% of homeowners have less than 20% equity in their homes as of late 2017, meaning that they are highly vulnerable to any kind of natural or man-made disaster. That being said, not everyone who lives in a house is a good homeowner. And when it comes to insurance policies, that can be especially true for those who let their houses get beyond a certain point. But with regular maintenance and proper care, there’s no reason why you can’t keep your home insured for many years to come. In this article, we will discuss some key points about getting the best homeowners insurance policy possible so you can enjoy peace of mind while still owning your own home.
Know What You’re Looking For in a Policy
Unless it’s blatantly obvious that you have a reason to pay extra for something, such as a higher deductible or a better policy, homeowners insurance policies are usually standardized. The key things to look for in your policy are:
- Excessive or unnecessary coverage: While it’s true that you could end up needing to file a huge claim, there is no need to include things like flood insurance or earthquake coverage in your policy.
- High deductible: A higher deductible is normally preferable to an insurance policy because it allows you to reduce your premium and still have coverage for most eventualities. But make sure it’s not too high.
- Deductibles generally apply to specific things: For example, your roof is most likely going to be the main cause for claims, so you should make it a point to have it covered. But you wouldn’t want to have the rest of your house covered at a very high rate just to have that covered properly.
Ensure Coverage For What You Want
Something that many homeowners don’t read carefully enough is the coverage they are opting for. Especially if you’re just getting your policy, it can be easy to assume that you know what all the terms and conditions mean. But everything is usually explained and written in a way that can be easily understood by most homeowners. So, when you’re looking at your policy and making sure you’re getting coverage for the things you want, here are a few examples:
- What is covered in your home: What is excluded from coverage may include certain things like taxidermy, statutes, and certain types of artwork.
- What is not covered in your home: Things like the roof, plumbing, and electrical system are not covered.
Ask the Right Questions When Filing a Claim
When you experience a loss, you’ll want to file a claim as soon as possible. But, as with any other kind of insurance, you want to make sure you know what you’re doing. The first thing you’ll want to do is get in touch with your agent. They will be able to provide you with valuable insights and help you file the claim in a way that maximizes coverage and minimizes any associated hassles. One way to make sure you have the right questions is to have a clear and concise list of what you want to be covered. This will help you to file your claim in a way that makes sense for you. If you’re not sure what you want in your claim, you can also use the help of a third party. Home insurance claims review firms are a great way to get unbiased feedback and advice on what your claim should include.
Stay Up to Date on Changes in Law
Homeowners are often surprised to learn that insurance policies are subject to change and update all the time. This is especially true when it comes to risk coverage, ratings, and standard costs. For this reason, it’s important to stay up to date with the current status of your policy. You can do this by checking your policy frequently and finding out what’s changed. You may also want to consider getting your policy re-filed every few years. This way, you’ll be able to be sure that it’s up to date with the current status of your coverage.
Negotiate From Time to To Time
Since insurance companies are legally required to protect the interests of their policyholders, they are generally open to negotiating coverage and rates on a case-by-case basis. You may have to take this approach to get some of the things that you want in your policy such as higher coverage amounts or a better rate. If you don’t feel confident enough to negotiate, you can also always ask your agent for help. Some agents will even give you a small discount on your premium if you ask them to help you negotiate.
Homeowners insurance covers a lot of important things and can make a huge difference in the financial security of your family. However, it’s important to know what you’re looking for in your policy and ensure that you have the right coverage. It can also be helpful to get a third-party review of your coverage and to negotiate if needed. With regular maintenance and proper care, you can keep your home insured for many years to come. In the end, homeowners insurance can bring peace of mind, knowing that your family is covered in the event of a disaster.