How to Get the Most Out of Your Home Insurance Policy

How to Get the Most Out of Your Home Insurance Policy
by John Carlucci - September 21, 2022,

Your home is likely your most valuable asset, so it's important to protect it with a comprehensive home insurance policy. A home insurance policy can help to cover the cost of repairs or rebuilding in the event of damage from a covered peril, such as a fire or windstorm. If you have not considered the benefits of affordable care act, liability coverage is also available through your home insurance if you own property. 

If someone is hurt on your premises, it will cover them financially. In addition, many home insurance policies offer additional coverage for personal belongings, such as jewelry or electronics. While the cost of a home insurance policy may seem unnecessary, it can be a valuable safety net in the event of an unexpected disaster. 

Like most people, you probably don't think about your home insurance policy until you need it. But if you take the time to understand your policy and make sure you're getting the most out of it, you can avoid some major headaches down the road. Here are a few tips on how to get the most out of your home insurance policy.

Check Your Deductible

A deductible is an amount you pay out of pocket toward a covered loss before your insurance company steps in to cover the rest. Your deductible will vary by the insurance company and type of coverage you're purchasing, but most home insurance policies come with a standard deductible of $500 or $1,000. 

Some home insurance policies have a combined deductible for property damage and liability coverage. An all-in-one or single-policy deductible typically has a higher deductible than a separate policy deductible. If you choose an all-in-one deductible, ensure you understand what is not covered by the policy and whether you can add additional coverage for better protection.

Ask About Premium Discounts

Most insurance carriers offer various discounts, including for homeowners who have added security systems or smoke detectors, have installed storm shutters, have added safety features to their home, or have a good driving record. Some carriers also offer discounts for paying your premiums annually instead of monthly. 

You can typically find a list of available discounts online in the policy's fine print or on your policy declaration page. Be sure to ask your insurance company about any discounts that may apply to your home insurance policy.

Research Reputable Repair Companies

If you ever have to file a claim on your home insurance policy, you'll want to make sure the contractor you hire is reputable. After filing their claim, some homeowners have often been surprised to discover that the contractor they used was not licensed to operate in their state. 

You can research homeowner repair companies to ascertain they are licensed and have positive reviews from past customers. You can also check with your state's consumer protection agency to see if it has any filed complaints regarding these repair companies.

Check for Hidden Exclusions

Home insurance policies come with exclusions or events that your policy may not cover. Ensure you understand what events or circumstances your policy does not cover to avoid surprises. For example, flood insurance policies do not cover standard flooding from rain. Therefore, if you live in an area prone to flash flooding, it may be beneficial to invest in flood insurance. 

You can find out what events or circumstances your home insurance policy does not cover by reading your policy fine print or calling your insurance company. If you find anything that concerns you, don't hesitate to consult your insurance company representative.

Document Your Belongings 

The value of your belongings usually isn't at the forefront of your mind until you experience a loss. Then, remembering everything you owned and how much it was worth can be daunting, if not impossible. 

That's why taking a photograph or video record of your belongings can save you a lot of headaches later. If you have to make a home insurance claim, having a visual record will be extremely helpful in proving what you lost and how much it was worth. The process doesn't have to be complicated or time-consuming - simply walk through your house with your camera or phone and take a photo or video of each room. 

Make sure to capture any valuables, important documents, and anything else that would be difficult to replace. By taking a little time now, you can make the claims process much smoother in the event of a loss.

Look into Floater Policies

If you own valuable artwork, jewelry, or collectibles, you may want to purchase a floater policy. A floater policy is an additional insurance policy that covers the value of your items above a certain limit. Floater policies are often used by people who own expensive art or jewelry collections or other pricey collectibles. However, floater policies can be costly and are not necessarily for everyone. 

For example, let's say you have a valuable painting that is worth $10,000. If your standard home insurance policy has a $5,000 limit for artwork, you'll have to pay the extra $5,000 out of your pocket if there is a loss. With a floater policy, you can increase your coverage by the difference between the standard $5,000 limit and the value of your painting up to a certain limit.

The Bottom Line

Some people opt for a floater policy if they own a high-priced item that exceeds the standard coverage amount on their home insurance policy. But, first, you should determine whether the item is worth the extra cost of a floater policy. A home insurance policy is essential to protecting your most valuable asset. 

You can rest assured that your home is well protected by taking a few minutes to review your policy and ensure you're getting the most out of it. From adjusting your deductible to checking for hidden exclusions, there are plenty of ways to get the most out of your home insurance policy.

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