Long Beach, NY – October 12th, 2012 — If your home hasn’t been broken into, or damaged by lightning, hurricane, fire, or hail, consider yourself lucky, because millions of homes across America suffer these damages each year. Even worse, homeowners are often stunned to find out that their home insurance may not cover everything they may anticipate. Since the home is typically a person’s biggest financial investment, this can leave consumers in a state of financial shock.
“Too often, the importance of having the right insurance is not realized until a loss occurs, and consumers are left paying more than expected for home repairs.” Said Denis Miller from the Denis A. Miller Insurance. “There are out of pocket expenses consumers need to be aware of, because all insurance policies are not the same.”
Before purchasing home insurance, ask yourself:
What’s covered? Familiarize yourself with what the policy you are purchasing will cover and what it won’t. For Example, damage caused by flooding is not covered under the standard contract. Also, determine in advance what your expected out-of-pocket responsibility will be in the event of a loss. Many contracts contain more than one deductible, depending upon the nature of the loss.
- Does the insurer offer “guaranteed replacement cost” coverage for the property?
This coverage provides peace of mind that your home will be repaired or replaced, even if your coverage limit is inadequate. This is important if your house were destroyed and needed to be completely rebuilt. It can be especially helpful for older homes or in a market where home values are rapidly appreciating in value. Also, find out what exactly the company considers a “guarantee.” Most companies cap the coverage provided at 125 percent of the limit, while only a few carriers offer a full guarantee.
Is an inflation factor built into the policy? It’s important to make certain that you have enough coverage on your property to keep pace with inflation, particularly in times of rising construction costs and contractors fee’s. Look for a company that offers an “inflation guard.” Which means that every year, your level of coverage will automatically increase to keep up with the level of home repair inflation in your area.
Does the insurer offer replacement cost coverage for contents? Most insurance will cover a home’s contents for “actual cash value,” which includes a deduction for “depreciation”—meaning that the older the age of the contents, the less the contents would be worth. There are carriers, however, that would reimburse contents on a replacement cost basis, taking age out of the equation.
- In the event of a loss, will the insurer stand behind the work performed? Because of the number of claims they handle, many insurers have developed a familiarity with local contractors, and will stand behind necessary repairs that a reputable, licensed service provider will make to a property. This can offer peace of mind, if you don’t have a reliable contractor in mind at the time of loss.
Finally, an important consideration involves flexibility. One size does not fit all. “The insurance needs for a new home are drastically different than a Victorian. Talk to your agent about the appropriate level of coverage for your situation, and select the level of coverage you think you need as well as additional coverage for items important to you—for example, jewelry or computers. By asking questions, you’ll secure greater piece of mind by knowing exactly what your covered for.”
For better understanding of the level of insurance that’s right for you, contact:
Denis A. Miller
Denis A. Miller Insurance Agency
60 W. Park Avenue
Long Beach, NY 11561