Sadly, it only takes one terrible moment to end up with nothing. Your house and everything inside has significant value attached to it and in the event of a theft, fire, flood, earthquake, or accident, your life will quickly be turned upside down. Although sentimental value can never be replaced, holding the right homeowners insurance policy can help you pick up the monetary pieces to get your family back up and on solid footing again.
Before you go right out and buy the first homeowners insurance policy that happens to come up in your online search, follow these four helpful tips. That way, you can be sure you find yourself with the right coverage, rather than one that’s lacking, should the unfortunate need ever arise.
Tip #1: Consider the Costs
The cost of homeowners insurance policies can vary widely depending on a variety of options, such as:
Type of home (single family, condo, mobile, vacation, etc.)
Deductible amount (higher deductibles lower your monthly payment)
Payout limits (lower payout limits lower your monthly payment)
Add-ons (earthquake, flood, jewelry, art, identity fraud, etc.)
Credit score (higher scores produce lower costs)
Multiple policies with the same company
It can be difficult to nail down an exact policy price before speaking to an independent insurance agent. An agent will consider all the variables that are specific to your needs and find you a policy that covers them, all while staying within budget.
For reference, in the San Pedro and Torrance areas of California, you can plan to spend as little on average, $83.00 per month (possibly as low $50 per month) or $996.00 per year for a well-configured policy that you can be confident in holding.
Tip #2: Document Your Belongings
It will be hard to know how much insurance coverage you need unless you have a good idea how much your home and possessions are actually worth. Going through an inventory exercise may end in a surprisingly high replacement cost amount. When you think about how much money it would take to replace everything...including furniture, appliances, flooring, jewelry, artwork, toys, clothing, cabinets, and so much more...the dollar amount really adds up.
Use a Personal Property Inventory & Calculator for an easy way to document your family’s items along with the associated serial numbers. In addition, taking pictures or a video is a good idea and can make the process easier. With this list, you won’t miss a thing from your attic and exterior all the way to your landscaping and fencing.
Store your list along with the following important documents in a fireproof safe or safety deposit box at your bank:
House: Escrow, title, deed, etc.
Personal: Birth certificates, passports, will, etc.
Automobile: Titles, registrations, copies of driver’s license, etc.
Finance: Account numbers, investment certs, etc.
Taxes: Copies from the last five years
Tip #3: Check Out Your Home’s Location Risks
Typical homeowners insurance policies cover damage to both structures and personal property caused by just about anything, including:
Fire, smoke, lightning, explosions
Windstorm, hail, freezing of pipes, weight of ice or snow
Vehicles, aircraft, falling objects
Theft and vandalism
Riot or civil commotion
There are, however, some things that are not covered unless you purchase a specific add-on policy. Such things may be floods and earthquakes. If you live in an area with such threats, you would be wise to get properly insured for them.
Tip #4: Don’t Under-Insure
The number one thing homeowners should ensure they get is adequate insurance. You don’t want to be left after a disaster without the funds to reestablish financial security and stability. The difference in cost between marginal insurance coverage and exceptional insurance coverage is usually only a few dollars, which can easily be offset by a higher deductible if necessary.
Here are a few ways to make sure you always find yourself with enough insurance:
Choose the “Replacement Cost” option (including foundation and debris removal).
Reevaluate your coverage whenever you remodel or make any significant upgrades.
Get enough Liability coverage to shield a large loss of any current and future assets against potential lawsuits.
Take a few minutes to do your homework. Get your questions answered. Enlist the help of a qualified and experienced independent insurance specialist to shop around for the best deal for you. This little bit of effort won’t only save you money on a policy, but will save you a lot of headache and heartache should a disaster take place in or around your home. Don’t be left empty handed, get the insurance you need in order to secure your and your family’s future.
For more information on finding homeowners insurance in San Pedro or homeowners insurance in torrance, contact Insurance Center Associates today!