According to a recent CNN Money article, reviewing your Homeowners Insurance Policy should be included on your annual home-maintenance check-list as sure as roofs, gutters, and checking weather stripping & caulking around your windows and doors are. Understanding your homeowners insurance policy can be a tool that may save you money, as well as save you grief, if a disaster should fall upon your home. People are often time not aware of the details within their policy. Here are some areas to be aware of…
•Know how much coverage you actually need. Your premium should not be based on the appraised value of your home because that includes land value, an unnecessary expense which can add a considerable amount to your home’s value. Your local homebuilders association is a resource that offers the square-footage replacement cost in your area, use this tool to find out how much coverage you truly need.
•Don’t wait until you need to file a claim to discover what is covered. You’ll want to know not only what is covered on your policy, but also what is not. If you live in a high risk area for natural disasters look into supplemental coverage as standard policies usually do not cover these.
•Check your deductible. Many insurance companies are changing deductibles from dollar amounts to percentages based on the value of the entire home, not just the costs of damages you may encounter. You will want to know what your deductible is – you may find the percentage makes the deductible unreasonable and it may be time to shop around.
•What is your premium? If it rose more than 5% in the last year you will want to contact your insurer and find out why. Where there changes to your risk profile? Knowing this information will help you if you need to shop around, which you should also do annually.
•Check with your insurer to explore ways to lower your premium, perhaps by increasing your deductible, bundling home and auto policies, or installing security systems
•Prepare. No one wants to think that a disaster could hit their home, but the fact is no one is completely immune to them. Take pictures or videos, save receipts, take a home inventory, and store all that information in a fire save box with your insurance policy.
Contact Gateway Realty at 843-757-7710 or email us, we are the mainland experts and our knowledeable sales agents are ready to assist you in all your Bluffton, SC and Lowcountry real estateneeds. Let one of our agents start making that dream home become a reality.