June 15, 2024

Know your NC property damage coverage before property damage happens

It’s going to be a bad day

Homeowners Insurance - Know your policy

Homeowners Insurance - Know your policy

Imagine this when you’re thinking about your homeowners insurance… You drive up to your home and then find out the hard way that something has gone horribly wrong.  The coffee pot that you forgot to turn off… well, maybe you should have switched it off before you ran down to the convenience store.  This isn’t going to be a banner day.  It’s highly probable that you could find yourself in this plight at least a single time in your life – and hopefully not more.  Regardless, that property damage policy that you have been paying premiums on is about to become REAL crucial to you. Numerous companies offer homeowners insurance and you need to choose a good one. You need to pick the correct coverages and the most reasonable policy limits. Where should you start?

Property Damage Coverage

Simply put, homeowners insurance, usually referred to as HOI in “insurancese”, is a kind of coverage that covers you so that in the event of an event such as water, fire damage, tornado damage, earthquake damage, lightning damage, or even ice damage, a homeowner can be confident that they will be safe from the monetary slam that would otherwise accompany it.  Now, while you may have property damage insurance, don’t kid yourself into thinking that you are unquestionably fully protected from all damages. You may be or you may not be covered. The time to figure out your coverage is BEFORE you find yourself actually needing it!  With a good insurance agent, a homeowner should have adequate coverage for whatever happens.  Sad but true, not each insurance agent is good and not every insurance policy actually has the specific coverages you may actually require.  Unfortunately, you may realize this out after the fact. Insurance companies are well-known for their small print that most folks never even see. You really need to know every little thing that insurance policy covers BEFORE a claim.

Read your Homeowners Insurance Policy

Initially, if you never have, READ the property damage policy. Sit down with a tall cool soda and flip through it. Sure there’s a lot of mumbo jumbo in that policy that will be annoying, but you should be able to get a good grip on what is there.  Read it again. And yet once more if needed. Now, loaded up with the questions that you will likely have, give a call to your friendly insurance agent and ask him to clear up whatever questions you have.  With my own insurance agent, he quickly starts speaking insurance geek speak, so I frequently have to ask him what that means in English.  He’s usually somewhat accommodating.

Check the coverage limits

Next on the list – you had best check that the property damage policy provides coverage for the full value of your property as well as your contents. If you have a $225K residence as it is, and somehow the insurance policy is showing it as $50K less, you NEED to modify it immediately.  You may save a few bucks with lower insured home value, but it could cost you a WHOLE lot more when you need to call on that policy. If you do a quick Yahoo search, you will see all sorts of posts about people getting stuck because of low coverage insurance.  It’s YOUR responsibility to make sure the values are correct. The same thing goes for the home inside contents. If you have a super special Mickey Mouse memorabilia collection and it’s worth more than a few bucks, you better have it declared – make sure it’s represented on your homeowners policy as a rider.

Know your insurance company

We also suggest that you really do some research on your insurance company. Some companies have a less than wonderful track record of covering their insureds. Some insurers habitually throw a low estimate to their clients in any property damage claim. Keep in mind, insurance companies don’t make money by giving their money away. The insurance companies are right there every year to grab your insurance premium for the home policy, but when you need THEM to be there?  There are a lot of good insurance companies that would love to have you as a client, but there’s a number of them that won’t be there the way you expect when you need them!

See more at American Property Loss Public Adjusters

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