Home insurance is a necessity for both homeowners and renters. Without insurance, you have no protection for your house, family and personal possessions, not to mention financial protection if an accident occurs on your property. Because home owner’s insurance involves so many variables, no one-size-fits-all plan will work for every family. When purchasing home insurance, check out these items:
Coverage Amount – If you are a homeowner, your lender may require you to insure your house for at least the amount of the mortgage. Standard plans require you to insure at least 80% of your home’s replacement cost (i.e., construction costs). The more you can afford, the less out-of-pocket costs you will have to pay if disaster strikes (up to 100%).
Additional Coverage – Standard coverage protects you against only events that cause damage to property, such as fire, windstorm or theft. For complete coverage, consider adding these options:
- Personal Property Coverage – Covers household contents and personal belongings. Attention renters, this is the coverage that you need. Your landlord’s insurance does not cover your personal items. It is your responsibility to insure your possessions.
- Additional Living Expenses – Helps you maintain a standard of living if your house cannot be occupied during repairs. Living in a hotel while your home is being rebuilt would be very expensive but this type of coverage can help if your home is uninhabitable.
- Personal Liability – Covers you when you are away from your residence and negligently cause injury or property damage when it is determined you are negligent; also provides legal representation if you are sued. A homeowner can be found negligent if they are aware of the problem but do not take action to correct it. Examples of this include
- broken locks on swimming pool gates that allow children to get in the pool
- allowing dogs known to bite to roam loose
- having a hole in your yard and not warning others of the dangers of falling
- rotten tree blows over and damages a neighbor’s car
Medical Payments – Covers medical bills for others when an accident occurs on your property.
Flood and Earthquake Coverage – Not standard add-ons, but very helpful if you can afford it.
More Helpful Tips
Update your Coverage. Home additions or remodeling adds value to your replacement cost. Be sure to update your insurance policies to cover the additional value of your home when you remodel. And remember to increase coverage for personal items if you buy new furniture or electronics, as well as maintain an up-to-date inventory of your belongings.
Shop Before You Buy. It is a competitive world out there, so shop around and compare deals. Ask what is the best deal you can get.
Home insurance can be complicated, but once you find the proper plan for you and your family, life becomes much simpler. The more you insure, the less you stress.
If you’ve had problems with your insurance company not fulfilling their obligations after you’ve made a claim, it is possible that you might have an insurance bad faith issue. Contact a lawyer at Carr & Carr Attorneys to talk about that rights you have and how to protect them. Call 1-866-510-0580 to speak with an experienced professional in Tulsa or Oklahoma City.