Important Things To Know When Buying Home Insurance

DoorInsuring your home with the proper coverage is so incredibly important since your home is almost always your biggest investment – and it is where you stay dry and warm. Following are some things every person who is looking to purchase a policy should know:

 

  • Always insure your home for 100% of the cost to rebuild. To figure out that number you can go to buildingcost.net to use their free calculator.
  • Flood, earthquake, war and nuclear accident coverage is extra beyond what your basic policy will cover.
  • The contents of your house is usually covered at 50% of what the value of the structure is. You must make sure this is adequate coverage for all of your belongings by making an inventory. Use knowyourstuff.org’s free home inventory software to determine this number.
  • Take pictures of all of your valuables in case you do need to file a claim. Pictures make the process so much easier.
  • Make sure you buy enough liability coverage – you need enough to match your assets.
  • Always buy “riders” for any expensive artwork or jewelry that you own. If it is worth more than $2,000, you may consider buying a separate policy for it.
  • Shop around as prices vary dramatically. Start with your car insurance company, because they often give discounts to multiple policy owners. You may also go to insure.com to compare prices. 
  • Keep your deductible high. Starting with a $1,000 deductible is wise, as most people do not make claims for less than this amount as there are insurance companies that will drop you if you make more than two claims per year.
  • Always ask about discounts. Many insurers have them, but you must ask for them. Discounts for installing smoke detectors, an alarm system or a fire-retardant roof are common. Also, if you are 55 years of age or older, mention that as you are considered low-risk – and can get a price reduction.
  • Keep your policy up-to-date! Changes to your home, such as a re-model, need to be covered.