For anyone who is getting homeowners insurance for the first time in their life, it may seem like a confusing and daunting process. But when you go into it equipped with the right information, everything will become much more simple. Before getting insurance from just any agency, ask these seven questions for clarity.
- What Are The Monthly Premiums? This first and simplest question you need to ask is what your monthly premium will be. Your monthly premium is the amount of money you will pay every month for homeowners insurance. Ask multiple insurance companies to compare prices before settling on your homeowners insurance policy.
- Does my Policy Include Replacement Value or Market Value? When your homeowners insurance policy includes replacement value, it means you are given whatever amount of money it is to replace a home that has been totally destroyed. However, your policy includes market value, you are paid whatever the market price of the house is if it should ever be destroyed. Generally, it is a better idea to go with insurance policies that cover market value since it could cost you more to rebuild your exact home. This would be less expensive than building the house at its current worth at the time it was destroyed.
- How Much Liability Protection do I Need? Generally, the liability limit begins at approximately $100,000. But when you talk to most insurance agencies, they would recommend that you buy $300,000 at least. Homeowners with greater assets will most likely need more liability protection. When you opt for liability protection in your homeowners insurance policy, you will be protected if you, anyone in your family, or pets cause damage to another person. Liability protection will not only cover you in your home, but anywhere else in the world.
- What Does The Insurance Policy Not Include? In most cases, homeowners insurance does not include coverage for earthquakes. Additionally, other natural disasters may not be included. If you live in areas with a high chance of earthquakes occurring or other disasters such as hurricanes, buying special insurance that covers these events is a wise investment.
- Am I Protected When I’m Not Home? The majority of insurance agencies provide protection when you are not in your house. That includes coverage for any items that might get stolen when you are not home. Even your children who are away from home or attending college might be protected with certain policies. Ask different insurance companies this question before buying a policy.
- Can I Get Any Discounts? When shopping around for insurance, ask the different companies if you qualify for any discounts. Homes that have smoke detectors or sprinkler systems will usually reduce your premium. If your house has dead-bolt locks or burglar alarms, you may be able to receive a discount as well. In some cases, electrical and plumbing systems that have been recently updated and modernized mean you can get a reduction. Lastly, if you are an older adult (at least 55), you could get up to ten percent off your premium.
- In The Event of Total Loss, How Much is my Property Worth? In the case of severe flooding, a fire, or burglary, your homeowners insurance policy would cover the replacement of personal property. Personal property includes clothing, furniture, and appliances. Most insurance agencies recommend that you get anywhere from $50,000 to $70,000 worth of personal protection coverage. If you want to know if you need a different amount of coverage, you can talk to insurance representatives about conducting an inventory to get exactly what you need.
For more advice and things to consider when purchasing insurance, contact us today.
Rob Macoviak is the President of Oyer, Macoviak and Associates. Oyer, Macoviak and Associates is the oldest independent insurance agency in Boynton Beach and has been in business since 1953.