Getting to Know Your Insurance Policy – Part 1
Do you remember the thrill of stepping inside your home for the first time? You were probably feeling proud, excited, and more than a little emotional as you crossed that threshold. Buying a home is one of the biggest life changes you’ll ever undergo, and with that shiny new set of keys comes new responsibilities.
Homeowner’s insurance allows you to protect your investment by providing coverage in the event of loss or damage. Unfortunately, homeowners often fail to develop a thorough understanding of their insurance policies. At Avner Gat, Inc. our team of public adjusters knows the importance of reading your insurance policy thoroughly and seeking help if there is anything you don’t understand. We’ve done our best to cover the basics and help jump-start the process!
If you’re wondering What Happens When You File an Insurance Claim?, check out our article for more information.
Most standard homeowner’s insurance policies include four types of coverage:
- Coverage for the structure of your home covers the physical home itself, both interior exterior.
- Coverage for your personal belongings covers your appliances, electronics, furniture, and anything that you would consider a “belonging.”
- Personal liability protection covers bodily injury or lawsuits you might face if your negligence has harmed someone on or off your property.
- Loss of use covers additional living expenses you may incur if you are temporarily unable to live in your home because of an insured disaster.
Every Insurance Policy is Different
Make sure you have a complete understanding of what your policy covers. Every insurance policy is different, and it is extremely important to read the entire contract before signing. Diligence will help prevent potential problems in the future. So, protect yourself by maintaining an inventory of all your covered items as well as proof of ownership and quality.
Most Standard Policies Do Not Include Natural Disasters Such As Floods and Earthquakes
When deciding on a policy, you should consider natural disasters that are likely to occur in your are and purchase coverage for those events. Does your city suffer from floods? Earthquakes or brush fires? One of the most common misconceptions is that standard home insurance includes flood coverage. Most standard policies do not include natural disasters such as floods and earthquakes. If you live in a high-risk area for natural disasters, you should consider purchasing policies that safeguard you in those situations. If you need help determining whether you’re in a flood zone, we recommend utilizing the official FEMA search tool, but, it is important to remember that floods can occur anywhere, even in areas that don’t qualify as flood zones.
Some Policies Limit Coverage for High-Value Items
You should also consider personal property coverage. Some policies limit the coverage amount for high-value items like artwork and jewelry. Know what your valuables are worth and think carefully about whether you want to purchase special coverage for expensive items.
If you want to learn more about insurance policies, check our blog “Getting to Know Your Insurance Policy – Part 2“.
As a general rule, it’s good to think about every scenario that could happen to your home then see if it’s worthwhile to get it covered. Additionally, you can ensure things like water and sewer backup, mold, and even personal identity theft. The options are endless, and it’s up to you to decide how much you’d like to spend to safeguard yourself.
Best of luck!