Homeowner’s Insurance Demystified – Protect Your Biggest Asset
Disaster Protection. It’s another name for homeowners insurance. We need to protect what for most of us is our most important asset. Here are some tips on what it covers and some things to keep in mind.
Standard homeowners insurance includes the following coverage:
- Structural coverage. Pays to repair or rebuild your home if damaged by fire, hurricane, hail, lightning or other disasters outlined in your policy. Does not include coverage for flood damage or normal wear and tear. Detached structures are also usually covered to about 10% of the coverage for your home.
- Personal Belongings. Furniture, clothing, etc. If they’re stolen or destroyed by an insured disaster, coverage usually ranges between 50% to 70% of your structural limit.
- Liability. If you, your family or your pets cause bodily injury or property damage to others, this covers your court defense and awards up to the limit of your policy.
- Additional Living Expenses. If a fire, storm or other insured disaster makes your home uninhabitable, your hotel, meals and other living expenses are covered to certain specified limits.
If you need coverage in excess of what is included in a standard policy, speak to your agent. You do have an agent, right? If not, here’s some advice on finding one:
- First, make sure your prospective agent is licensed. Not all are. It’s also best to use an agent licensed in your state in case there’s a problem.
- Shop around. Get a minimum of three quotes. Use the same coverage limits when shopping so you’re comparing apples to apples.
- Reliability. Choose a company that has been financially sound for many years.
- Personal Service. Choose a company that is responsive to your needs, has a track record of handling claims efficiently. Ask friends and business associates for recommendations.
- Trust. Choose a company you trust to respond quickly and professionally.
Renters and Condo Owners Take Note
- Renters. Renter’s policies cover your possessions. Your landlord does not usually cover them.
- Condo Owners. An HO-6 policy will cover your belongings as well as the structural elements you own.
- Levels of Coverage:
- Actual Cash Value – your policy pays for replacement of your home and/or possessions less depreciation.
- Replacement Cost – pays for rebuilding or repairing your home and replacing your possessions with no deduction for depreciation.
- Guaranteed/Extended Replacement Cost – pays for the cost to rebuild just as it was even if the cost exceeds your policy limit.
Hounchell Real Estate-RE/MAX Metro works with reputable, trustworthy professional insurance providers in the Tampa/St. Petersburg, FL area and will be pleased to recommend them to you. Please visit our Local Links for a current listing, or call our office at 727-642-9107 and we’ll be pleased to help.