Homeowner Insurance Review

December 5, 2012

Homeowner Insurance Review 

Although we would really like to meet with you in person, we understand your time is precious.  That’s why we have developed this online homeowner insurance review tool.  It only takes a few minutes to complete and it will really help us uncover any areas where we can improve your coverage and/or cut costs.  This review is not comprehensive,  and we encourage you to contact us by phone or set up an appointment to come into the office for a thorough review of your policies with us.

 

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1. The replacement cost of your home is the starting point of your home insurance. Ask yourself this question: if your house was destroyed, how much would it cost to rebuild? When we first insured your house we calculated its replacement cost based on the information you provided. Since that time have you built any additions or done any remodeling over $5,000?
If you checked yes, what did you build and/or remodel?
2. Unfortunately, there are limitations in your policy for loss of "valuables" that you own. For instance, theft of jewelry is often limited to $1,500. However, you can buy specific insurance with a “Valuable Items” endorsement, which provides broader coverage and increases the insurance limits amounts you need. As a rule of thumb, people often get specific coverage for items over $1000 in value. Up-to-date appraisals may be required for insurance under this kind of schedule. Do you own any of the items listed below?
If so, what do you own? Do you have appraisals?
3. A home-based business is not protected by a homeowner’s policy. Businesses generally require commercial insurance. If you run any business from your home, coverage can be available as an inexpensive add-on to your home insurance policy or through a separate commercial policy. Do you currently have a home-based business?
If so, please describe your business:
4. Business use of a detached structure, such as a garage or barn nullifies insurance coverage on that structure. Coverage is readily available, but your home policy needs to be endorsed. Are you currently running the business out of a detached building?
5. Your homeowner policy gives very limited coverage for boat hulls, equipment and liability. Boats, snowmobiles, and ATVs usually need to be insured on a separate policy. Do you currently own any recreation vehicles that we don't already insure?
If you checked "Yes," what type of recreational vehicle(s) do you own?
6. Pull out your homeowner policy and check the amount of insurance showing on your Personal Property (Coverage “C”). The amount you have should be enough to replace your personal belongings today, including: clothes, furniture, electronics, appliances, etc. We can provide you with a household inventory checklist if you are unsure. Are you comfortable with the amount of coverage showing under Personal Property? Is it too high? Too low? Please let us know below.
7. Your homeowner’s policy does not automatically cover loss due to earthquake. Coverage can usually be added, or a separate policy can be purchased, but it tends to be a little expensive up and down the west coast (because we are high risk). If you don't currently carry earthquake coverage would you like us to get you a quote?
8. Your homeowner policy also does not include loss to your property due to flood any groundwater seepage. Flood coverage is offered through a federal program- the "National Flood Insurance Program." With more and more claims coming from outside of high risk areas (33% in 2011) it makes sense to consider the coverage. In low risk areas the annual premiums can be as low as $129. Would you like us to get you a quote on flood insurance for your home?
Condominium unit owners have special needs. Additions and alterations that become a permanent part of the building, but for which you are responsible, should be added if the association does not provide “all-in” language. Have there been any changes in your Association Master Contract? Would you like us to review this contract for you?
The high settlements being awarded by the courts today for personal injury suits are skyrocketing. If you have a home and other assets to protect, you should really consider an "excess" or "umbrella" liability policy. These sorts of policies go over the top of your existing auto, home and RV insurance and tend to be very inexpensive. Would you like us to get you a quote on one?
Because turning in small claims can really have an impact on your premiums, we always encourage our clients to take the highest deductible they can afford. Would you be interested in getting quotes for different deductibles? Larger deductibles often result in significant premium savings.
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