Homeowner’s Insurance is something that everyone has to deal with, but not everyone understands. Here are five tips for dealing with it:
1. Shop around. You shouldn’t just shop around for the best price, you should also shop around for the best agent. If you need to file a claim, you will have to work with an insurance adjuster. Knowing, liking, and trusting your agent can make this process much smoother.
2. Lower your premium. Insurance companies figure out your premium from formulas that are based on how much risk they forsee in your property. Taking some preventative measures can lower your premium by up to 20%! Examples of preventative measures that affect your premium are installing smoke detectors, dead bolts, and alarm systems just to name a few.
3. Replacement v. market value. The policy you choose will either cover the “replacement cost” of your home or the “market value” of your home. A market value policy is typically less expensive, but in the event that your home is ruined by a serious disaster you may not recoup enough to rebuild. A market value policy will pay out based on how much someone would pay for your home and accompanying land in whatever condition it is in – so basically the insurance company will buy you out at market value after a disaster. A replacement policy will pay out based on how much it will cost to replace your entire home. Replacement coverage is definitely recommended, and sometimes even required by mortgage companies.
4. Time limits. When you purchase your homeowner’s policy, be sure to ask about time limits for reporting claims and then follow them.
5. Jewelry coverage. Many homeowner’s policies limit the coverage of jewelry. If you have expensive jewelry in your home, even if it is just a couple of wedding rings, be sure to note the jewelry limits in your policy and purchase a supplemental policy (often called a rider) if necessary.
Thinking of buying or selling a home in Sussex County? Give us a call at Cooper Realty Associates and put us to work for you – 302-856-6434.