Having the right kind of homeowner’s policy will ensure that you are protecting one of your most valuable assets. Whether you are buying your first home or purchasing another investment property, it is important to review your policies and make sure you have the appropriate coverage. If you do not review your homeowner’s insurance every year, you could be overlooking some glaring gaps in your coverage and miss out on substantial discounts. Here are just some of the items we can look into during your Farmers Friendly Review.
Characteristics of Your Home
One vital area of concern is making sure the dwelling reconstruction accurately reflects the characteristics of your home. This is especially important for custom and or high value homes. Year built, square footage, number of stories, flooring, roof type, and number of rooms are just a few of the items we take into consideration on the reconstruction report. If you have remodeled your home recently there could be some savings attributed to that remodel. For instance if you did a complete replacement of your plumbing, electrical, and heating systems there is a home renovation discount that can be applied. Getting you home Energy Star ® or LEED certified can also save money on your policy as well.
Purchasing Big Ticket Items
A 2012 report from the FBI states that the average loss from burglaries was $2,230. While common household items (ie. shoes, clothing, furniture, and electronics) are already covered under your personal contents coverage, special items such as art, jewelry, and firearms are only covered up to certain limits on your homeowner’s insurance. In order to make sure those items are insured properly, special floaters can be added to your policy to cover high value items. To make sure those items are insured properly, copies of recent appraisals are required. Taking a detailed inventory of all your contents will not only help with the claims process, but also help you to discover some valuables that might be worth more than you think.
Your Personal Assets
As a homeowner you are responsible for anything that happens on your premises. For example if you accidentally damage another neighbor’s property or somebody slips and falls inside your home, you can be sued for those incidents. If you say something inflammatory about one of your neighbors they can also turn around and sue you for libel, slander, or defamation of character. Your liability coverage on your home policy protects against the items mentioned above. When determining how much liability coverage you need, think about what you have to lose in a lawsuit. Assets that can be targeted include cash, stocks, bonds, IRA’s, 401(k), pension funds, and personal bank accounts. If you do not have sufficient liability coverage, you may have to pay for the settlement out of pocket.
Coverage for Catastrophic Events
According to research from the United States Geological Survey (USGS), there is a 99% chance of a magnitude 6.7 earthquake striking somewhere in California over the next 30 years. One of the losses not covered by your homeowners insurance is damage sustained by an earthquake or seismic event. To help address this gap in coverage, the California Earthquake Authority and its participating insurers can offer insurance policies that will cover your home and its contents. Recent changes to CEA earthquake policies now allow you to look at increasing your coverage for personal contents and loss of use as well as taking higher deductible options on your dwelling and contents coverage. Whether you own a home or you are a renter, the CEA has a variety of policies that will meet your needs.
In the event that there is a flood in your neighborhood, you want to make sure you are able to repair your home due to flood damage. By adding a flood insurance policy you can rest assured that your home and personal contents can be repaired or replaced. For residents in moderate to low risk flood zones, you can qualify for a preferred risk policy. Although not required by the federal government, anyone can still be financially vulnerable when a flood occurs.
Addressing these and any other gaps in your coverage will not only give you the protection you need, but provide you with peace of mind. If you have questions about your home, auto, or any other personal lines of insurance, give us a call and one of our agents will be happy to assist you.