What do you need out of your homeowners insurance policy? Great question! With tailored policies and different levels of coverage available, no two homeowners are exactly the same. Your needs are likely not even the same as they were just a few years ago. Every time you move, renovate, update or add something to your home, it’s important to make sure your policy is still capable of protecting it. After all, it’s likely your biggest expenditure to date—not to mention your sense of security!
Here are five quick questions to help you assess your homeowners insurance needs.
How much is my home worth?
First things first: how much would it cost you to rebuild from the ground up if, say, a fire destroyed your home? If a total loss occurs, you don’t want to (or won’t be able to) pay out of pocket to rebuild! As the Insurance Information Institute writes, “In general, homeowners policies cover partial or total damages caused by fire, hurricane, hail, lightning or any other disaster listed in your policy.” But first, you must know the value of the structure.
How much is the personal property in my home worth?
Only a home inventory will provide a comprehensive look at your possessions. You can either write down, videotape or photograph your possessions, being sure to include “serial numbers, brands, quantities and estimated values.”
Once you’ve determined the value of your home’s structure and your possessions, you’ll have a better idea where to set your policy’s limits.
Will a standard policy cover all my possessions?
While a standard policy is an excellent (and necessary) start, you may need additional coverage for certain high-value items. As one insurance spokesperson tells Architectural Digest, “Whether it's an expensive engagement ring or a rare stamp collection, some things aren't covered by your standard home policy. For high valued items, like engagement rings, artwork, etc., consumers should look into ‘scheduling’ the property.” Scheduling, or adding additional coverage for expensive items, involves providing your insurance company with a receipt or appraisal to ascertain the true value.
Is my area prone to any types of natural disasters?
Certain losses are usually covered: windstorms, fires, hail, lightning damage, vandalism and theft. Others are not, namely floods and earthquakes. If you live in a region prone to these natural disasters (like along either coast), you may need extra protection in addition to your standard policy.
Do I qualify for any discounts on my premium?
Since you last assessed your policy, you may have done something to your home that could actually shave a percentage off your monthly premiums! Installing a high-tech home security system, disaster-proofing your home’s exterior and updating old home systems (like heating, cooling, plumbing or electrical) can all save you money because they reduce the chances that you’ll need to file a claim with your agent.
We hope these five questions will help you assess your homeowners insurance needs. CoverHound makes it easy to explore all your policy options—get a quote today!