If you’re like most Americans, your home is your largest
investment, so you know how important it is to protect it. You probably take
safety precautions and have insurance that will cover you in case of a loss.
But are you fully
protected? Chances are, no. You probably are running the risk of having to pay
money out of pocket to rebuild your home after a loss, to replace stolen items
or to settle a liability lawsuit.
Consider the following questions to determine if you are, like
most homeowners, underinsured.
- Are you working at home? Do you
have a home-based business? If so, you’re not alone—40% of Americans
operate a home-based business that provides their sole means of living or
extra income. Most people don’t know that their standard homeowners
insurance provides very limited coverage for business property and
generally no liability protection for business use of the home. You can
get this coverage added to your homeowners policy by an endorsement or by
purchasing a separate business policy.
- Do you have recreational vehicles? Watercraft,
snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles and similar recreational vehicles add
spice to your family’s life. But you should know that liability coverage
for these type vehicles is not
provided by your homeowners insurance. Accidents happen. So add this critical
coverage to your policy by an endorsement or addition.
- Did you build an addition recently?
If so, did you update your homeowners policy? Most Americans neglect this
important step, leaving their family vulnerable to significant
out-of-pocket expenses to rebuild after a loss. New additions to the
structure and grounds may increase your liability and coverage needs. So,
if you’ve added a pool, another bedroom or a home theater, you best inform
your insurance agent so that you can be adequately protected
- Will your policy pay to rebuild or
replace your home? The recent ballooning of home prices has lead to a
corollary increase in the cost of building materials. These increases
directly impact the amount of insurance homeowners must carry to avoid
costly penalties for being underinsured. Get a home appraisal now so you
can determine how much homeowners insurance you need to rebuild or replace
- Do you own an historic home? If
the answer is yes, your home poses a unique requirement on your homeowners
insurance. That’s because older homes do not meet the stringent building
codes in effect in most towns and cities today. If there is a loss, your
old home will have to be rebuilt to the new code. A standard homeowners policy limits increased
construction costs and the lost value of property. Again, add this
coverage as an endorsement to your policy.
- Do you have expensive items or a
collection? Most standard homeowners policies limit coverage for
high-value items like expensive jewelry, art collections, antiques and
other collectibles. Think about how valuable these items are to your
family—both monetarily and emotionally—and decide if you need to secure
additional coverage either by an endorsement to your homeowners policy or
through a specialty policy.
- Do you have medical payments coverage?
Most homeowners don’t carry this protection, often called “goodwill”
protection. It provides payments for medical care for people injured on
your property (regardless of fault) up to three years after an accident.
In today’s lawsuit-happy society, medical payments coverage could save you
tens of thousands of dollars. Get this affordable coverage added to your
homeowners insurance policy today.
- Check for leaks regularly. If there’s
a leak in your house, then you’ve got problems and probably damage to your
home, too. To prevent a lead from mushrooming you should regularly inspect
your home. Look for discoloration in ceilings, floors, walls and tiles.
Check for water in the basement and around appliances. Check the
foundation. And, check indoor hose connections in the laundry room,
bathrooms and kitchen. Repair damaged or suspect areas immediately.
- Get an alarm system. Unfortunately,
there are crooks among us who are looking to take away your prized possessions.
Arm yourself! If you don’t own an alarm system, get one. It is a great
deterrent against break-ins and could save you money on your homeowners
insurance. Test it regularly—at least monthly—to ensure it is operating
properly. And, most importantly, use it. An alarm system will not dissuade
burglars if it’s off!
- Got a pet? Fido sure is cute. But
he could cost you a lot of money if he bites the neighbor’s kid or the
mailman. Pet bites and attacks are one of the most common causes of
homeowner liability claims. Insurance companies judge certain breeds to be
more dangerous. Some, such as pit bulls, may be excluded from coverage
altogether. Before adopting a pet check with your insurance company to
ensure it will be covered by your homeowners insurance.
By addressing these issues now you can prevent costly claims
and save money on homeowners insurance premiums over the long term. And, your
family will have peace of mind knowing that your homeowners insurance will be
there no matter what life and Mother Nature throw at you.
TLIG is a local Trusted Choice®
agency that represents multiple insurance companies, so it offers you a variety
of personal and business coverage choices and can customize an insurance plan
to meet your specialized needs.
Visit us online at www.tligins.com
or call us at (434) 582-1444.