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What is important to you?
I know my home is very important to myself and my family. I also know that my home is one of my largest assets. That begs the question: What am I doing to protect it?
In a time when we are brainwashed into thinking the lowest price is best, we should be asking more questions.
Here are a few questions to help you evaluate what type of coverage you need to have:
When was the last time I looked at my insurance coverage?
Life changes and circumstances change. Time to ask how those changes are effecting your home insurance.
How valuable is my property?
I know it might be a daunting task to think about all your personal property that you own. Sometimes it can be hard because you have emotional connections to your belongings. Make sure your personal property coverage is enough to replace your belongings. You would be surprised how much it costs to replace everything in a home.
That being said, if you have loss you will need to know what items you lost.
It is a great idea to keep a home inventory online or take pictures of each room. That will help you remember items you might otherwise forget.
In many cases people have high value items like jewelry, guns, musical instruments … that might need additional coverage. You will have to get a separate policy or endorsement to properly protect those special items. Those policies have significantly more coverage than a home policy with lower deductibles.
Does my home have enough coverage?
Insurance companies today want to insure homes for replacement cost. Replacement cost is not market value, not taxable value, and not your current loan balance. Replacement cost is how much it would actually cost to rebuild your home in today’s market. Make sure the coverage on your home and detached structures aligns with the cost to replace it. Not having adequate coverage can leave you under covered.
What is my deductible?
The deductible is what the insured is subject to pay per claim. Many people think if the claim is not their fault, they will not have to pay a deductible (many get it confused with auto insurance). That is not the case, you will have to pay your deductible in most cases each time you have a loss. Make sure you have enough money set aside to be able to afford your deductible, otherwise consider lowering your deductible. On the flip side, the higher your deductible, the lower your rate.
Why do I need liability coverage?
Liability coverage is there to protect when someone sues you. You need to think about what types of assets you a trying to protect with the coverage you choose. Talk with you Agent further to assess your liability coverage need.
What else should I consider?
There are many other endorsements that insurance companies offer to provide additional protect for your home. Here is a little list:
- Backup of Sewer and Drain – protects from water backups (very common necessity in Michigan)
- Business Riders – provides coverage for business property or pursuits. In most cases you need to purchase a business policy to have adequate coverage for your business.
- Special Items – provides additional coverage for property like jewelry and guns still subject the your home deductible
- Identity Restoration – provides coverage to help restore your identity if compromised by fraud
- Home Systems Protection – provides coverage for home appliances with some limitations
- Service Lines Coverage – provides coverage for lines that run from your home to utility service or septic
- Other endorsements available
What discounts are available?
There are many discounts available but it really depends on the insurance company, but here are the most common to take advantage of:
- Home and auto discount- having your home and auto together with the same company can provide substantial savings
- Home security system
- Safe home discount – having a new furnace and a/c, new plumbing, and new electrical installed can all provide additional discounts
- Other discounts available
What company is standing behind my policy?
With many mass catastrophes in this year alone, it is more important than ever to work with a company who has financial stability.
It might be time to reevaluate your insurance coverage and start protecting your home based on your needs.
Ben Vanbiesbrouck, Agent