As a homeowner, you want to protect your financial investment. Homeowners insurance is designed to pay for damages to your home and your belongings. It also helps protect you from financial liability if someone is injured on your property. Read on for answers to common questions.
How much homeowners insurance do I need?
Ask yourself the following questions when deciding how much insurance you need:
You may need the help of a professional for an estimate—ask a real estate appraiser, builder, or your insurance agent. If you’ve made big improvements to your home, such as remodeling a kitchen or bathroom or building a deck, make sure your insurance policy is updated to reflect the increased value.
Am I protected for inflation?
Many companies automatically adjust policies for inflation; if so, your premiums would go up to cover the rising cost of replacement. Review your policy every year to see if your coverage limits are adequate.
Am I planning any additions or renovations?
Adding a family room or finishing a basement could increase the value of your home and the amount of coverage needed. Remember to inform your insurance company of any additions or renovations, otherwise you may not have enough coverage if you sustain a loss.
Is my personal property covered?
If you have valuable possessions, such as computers, cameras, jewelry, musical instruments, etc., you may want to buy optional coverage designed for these types of property and without any deductible.
What if someone gets hurt on my property?
If you or members of your household were hurt on your property, your medical expenses would typically be covered by your medical insurance policy. They will not be covered by homeowners insurance.
Homeowners insurance provides basic liability coverage that protects you and family members who are part of your household, if someone finds you legally responsible for injuries or damages, either on or off your property. You can be held legally liable for such events, even though you didn’t intend for them to happen.
Note that bodily injury and property damage generally are not covered while you are operating a motor vehicle, airplane, or boat. You need separate policies for these activities.
What questions should I ask about my homeowners insurance policy?
Here are a few questions you should ask your insurance company about your policy.
** Do I need to expand my basic homeowners insurance policy? Depending on where you live, you might consider purchasing additional coverage for earthquakes, water damage/floods, lightning, etc.
It’s important to learn about the different types of home insurance coverage available to you—including condo insurance, renters’ insurance, landlord’s insurance, and mobile home insurance—and choose the best policy to fit your specific needs.<