A Personal Insurance Update
We work to ensure that your home insurance provides the protection you deserve and need. We understand you may need different coverage like a personal umbrella, RV insurance, valuable articles coverage, earthquake, or flood coverage.
Over the years, we have found that homeowners who adhere to the following strategies have a better chance of obtaining the best possible combination of coverage, price, and service.
- Use an agent like us to represent you in the market. We know and understand personal insurance, and we are much better equipped to help you manage your personal insurance program. We will stand by you in every claim situation.
- Only use financially strong insurers. It is vital that your insurance is there to pay for claims. Look for insurers with an “A” rating by AM Best.
- Make sure you have high liability limits. It is essential that every homeowner have enough liability insurance to cover the unexpected events. This is especially true if you own an RV, ATV or boat.
- Consider increasing your deductibles. Often a slight increase in your deductibles can reduce premiums. If you are able to manage a larger deductible, you may be better off in the end.
- Allow your agent to manage your entire personal insurance needs. Having one source for all your policies will save you time. Also having one professional handle all your needs gives them the ability to understand your entire needs.
Guaranteed or extended replacement cost coverage
After a major hurricane or a tornado, building materials and construction workers are often in great demand. This can push rebuilding costs above homeowner’s policy limits, leaving you without enough money to cover the bill. To protect against such a situation, you can buy a policy that pays more than the policy limits.
An extended replacement cost policy will pay an extra 20 percent or more above the limits, depending on the insurance company. A guaranteed replacement cost policy will pay whatever it costs to rebuild your home as it was before the fire or other disaster.
Building codes are updated periodically and may have changed significantly since your home was built. If your home is badly damaged, you may be required to rebuild your home to meet new building codes. Generally, homeowner’s insurance policies (even a guaranteed replacement cost policy) won't pay for the extra expense of rebuilding to code. Many insurance companies offer an Ordinance or Law endorsement that pays a specified amount toward these costs. (An endorsement is a form attached to an insurance policy that changes what the policy covers.)
Consider adding an inflation guard clause to your policy. This automatically adjusts the dwelling limit when you renew your policy to reflect current construction costs in your area.
Additional living expenses after a disaster
This is a very important feature of a standard homeowners insurance policy. This pays the additional costs of temporarily living away from your home if you can't live in it due to a fire, severe storm or other insured disaster. It covers hotel bills, restaurant meals and other living expenses incurred while your home is being rebuilt.
Insuring expensive items with floaters/endorsements
There may be limits on how much coverage you get for expensive items such as jewelry, silverware and furs. Generally, there is a limit on jewelry for $1,000 to $2,000. You should ask your agent or look it up in your policy. This information is in Section I, Personal Property, Special Limits of Liability. Insurance companies may also place a limit on what they will pay for computers.