Do You Know What's Covered by Your Homeowner's Insurance?

Written by Posted On Thursday, 15 January 2015 07:57

Whether you are buying a new home or you’ve lived in your current home for a while, it’s a good idea to know what your homeowner’s insurance policy covers. This is particularly important, of course, if you’re purchasing a new policy in conjunction with buying a new home, or if your insurance needs have changed – for instance, due to recent investments in high-end belongings or the addition of structures on your property.

When you purchase an insurance policy, you should be sure you understand exactly what it covers, which is why it’s helpful to have a good relationship with your insurance agent. If you’re buying your insurance directly through a national brand, perhaps over the phone, make sure that you speak to someone who can explain your policy to you in depth so there are no surprises if you need to file a claim.

Here are a few considerations when purchasing (or reviewing) your home insurance:

·       Cost. It’s tempting to buy the lowest-priced policy available, but it’s important to understand whether its coverage is adequate for your situation. You’ll also want to know how much you’ll be expected to pay as a deductible if you need to file a claim.

·       Coverage. Most standard policies cover liability for injury to others on your property; loss due to theft or fire; and damage due to natural disasters such as hurricanes and tornadoes. However, there are some exceptions, which leads us to …

·       Location. Flooding and earthquakes are often excluded from standard policies, so if your home is located in an area prone to flooding or quakes, you’ll likely want to purchase additional coverage.

·       Belongings. Naturally, most homeowners want not only the structures located on their property, but the possessions contained within them, to be covered against damage or loss. Make sure your policy includes your belongings! Some high-end or valuable items such as artwork, certified antiques, and expensive jewelry will require additional coverage in terms of a floater policy. If you’re unsure whether you own any such items, consult your insurance agent.

·       Replacement. Some homeowner’s insurance policies simply cover the original price of appliances, furnishings, and other valuables. Make sure that you have a policy that covers the current replacement cost of your belongings.

Partnering with a trusted insurance agent – and particularly one who knows your community – can be your key to ensuring that your home and belongings are properly insured. If you don’t have a good idea of where to start when purchasing homeowner’s insurance for a new home, ask your real estate agent for a referral or two. And be sure to shop around for good rates and ask the right questions to provide you with a clear understanding of exactly what coverage you can expect to see when it comes time for you to file a claim. Good luck! 

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Kristin Brown

Kristin Brown is a realtor for Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Lexington, MA. As a lifelong Lexington resident, Kristin has deep local roots. She has served Lexington and the surrounding communities for eight years, working with buyers, sellers and developers. She is 110-percent committed to achieve all of her clients expectations. Kristin graduated for the University of Massachusetts and is a member of the Greater Boston Real Estate Board, MAR, NAR, MLS-PIN, Women's Council of Realtors, and a recipient of The International Elite Award.

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