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If you don’t know all the terms of your homeowners insurance coverage, you’re not alone. But theres no safety in that particular number. And you dont want to find out that you’re not covered when you need it most.
Don’t wait for a damage claim to call your insurance agent. You need to have a better relationship than that, says Angie Hicks, founder of Angies List, the nations leading provider of consumer reviews on local contractors and service companies.
A recent Angies List poll showed that nearly a third of respondents haven’t reviewed their policies with their insurance agent for more than two years. But you should have at least an annual conversation, Hicks said.
Unfortunately, replacing your home could actually cost you more these days, Hicks said. This is no time to reduce your coverage. Materials and building costs arent going down and insurance premiums are based on replacement cost.
Some homeowners in Joplin learned that the hard way last year when tornadoes came through. Insurance experts in Missouri said many homes there were under insured because policies hadn’t been updated for years. In addition to the replacement costs for those homes, consumers had to deal with demolition, hauling and living expenses in the interim.
Another thing homeowners need to consider is whether they need special riders. Common riders include those that cover jewelry, art and special items. But riders are also available for injuries related to certain breeds of dogs pit bulls or Rottweilers for example. Other areas of potential liability include swimming pools and other attractive nuisances that could bring unwanted issues to your door.
-Major renovations that will affect your homes value;
-Inheritance or gifting of valuable items like jewelry or furniture;
-Boat or other large purchase or sale; and
-Some pet additions to the family.
-Improve your homes safety: Severe weather, higher rebuilding costs and an increase in claims can all affect the price of your premium. Some companies offer discounts for installing storm shutters, adding a security system, updating wiring, or your homes proximity to a fire station.
-Bundle up: Many companies will reduce your rates if you purchase additional policies, such as auto or life, through them.
-Raise your deductible: Just remember if you do have a claim, you are going to have to pay more out of pocket then you would have before.
-Shop around: Like any other service, shop around for homeowners insurance rates. You can comparison shop online with just a click of a mouse. Comparing policy coverage options with a few companies will give you the opportunity to find the best policy at the best price.
Angie’s List collects consumer reviews and helps connect consumers with the best local service providers in areas from home improvement to health care. More than 1 million households across the U.S. and Canada subscribe to and rely on Angies List to help them make the best hiring decisions in more than 550 service categories. Members get unlimited access to local ratings via Internet or phone, exclusive discounts, the Angie’s List Magazine and help from the Angies List complaint resolution service.
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