Getting your home insured for unforeseen events is probably one of the best moves you can make as a property owner. With natural disasters like hurricanes and even human-induced ones such as theft, knowing that you have some sort of fallback in case something bad happens can give you priceless peace of mind.
Now, before you sign that insurance policy and pay the premium, you should know more about home insurance, so you’ll be fully aware of the essentials. Here are five important things about home insurance that you have to know:
You need a public adjuster.
Let’s assume, for the sake of discussion, that your home was severely hit by a storm that ravaged practically the entire city. In such a case, you’ll have to file for a claim with your insurance company. One way to ensure a smooth claims process is by hiring a public adjuster. Whether you live in Miami, FL or Denver, CO, such a professional will assist you with your claim and ensure that your best interest is secured. Your adjuster can prepare the repair cost estimates, file your claim on your behalf, and negotiate with the insurance company the highest compensation possible based on your policy. With such delicate roles, you have to do your homework to zero in on the perfect public adjuster.
There are three ways claims are paid.
Insurance companies pay for claims in three ways: actual cash value (ACV), replacement cost, and replacement cost without obligation to replace. The first option, ACV, provides compensation on the depreciated value of the property during the time of loss. The second one offers roughly half of the total amount of the lost items, with the remainder chargeable to you. The last option is probably the best payout scheme as it practically covers the entire sum of all the lost or damaged items. It is, however, subject to a more stringent qualification process as you would need a great credit score and should meet other underwriting criteria by the insurance company.
You must review your adjuster’s report.
You have to carefully review every detail in the report prepared by your adjuster, particularly the amount needed to replace or repair your specific losses. The report must also include other pertinent details like labor costs and items lost or damaged. Make sure the report is complete, and whatever is included is amenable to you, such as the cost estimates of the repairs needed.
There are various types of insurance coverage.
There are at least four different types of insurance coverage: HO-1, HO-2, HO-3, and HO-5. HO-1 is the simplest form with limited coverage; HO-2 is similar to HO-1 but with additional coverage; HO-3 is the most common type, and HO-5 is the most comprehensive one. You can read more about these types of insurance coverage here.
Not everything is covered.
Things such as acts of war or acts of God may not be part of the losses your policy covers, so be sure to check with your insurance company and carefully read the fine prints of your policy to determine the specific inclusions and exclusions.
You can inquire with a trusted public adjuster if you have other questions about your insurance policy. This way, you’ll know what to expect, and you’ll fully appreciate the insurance coverage that your home has.