How insurance protects your most valuable financial asset

insurance and protection concept - realtor woman gives a house1. What Homeowners Insurance Covers

A typical policy will pay for damage to your property and your possessions in the event of certain storms, fire, theft or vandalism. It also provides liability coverage if someone gets hurt on your property.

Homeowner’s insurance can protect belongings outside the home, too. If something is stolen from your car, auto insurance won’t cover it, but your homeowners policy may – most policies will cover your belongings when they are traveling with you.

2. What Homeowners Insurance Doesn’t Cover
A standard policy has exclusions, including earth movements (landslides, earthquakes, sinkholes), power failure, war, nuclear hazard, government action, faulty zoning, bad repair or workmanship, defective maintenance and flooding. Insurance companies also exclude tornadoes or hurricanes in some high-risk areas.

Water damage is tricky. As a rule of thumb, water from above (rainwater or a burst pipe in an upstairs apartment) is usually covered, but water from below (backed-up sewers or ground flooding) generally is not. Floods and earthquakes usually require additional insurance.

3. Why You Should Comparison Shop for Homeowners Insurance
Before committing to a policy, take the time to research an agent whom you trust, preferably one with good reviews or via a personal recommendation. When you have a major catastrophe – such as a fire – the last thing you want to be doing is dealing with a rude or uncaring insurance agent.

Bottom line? Don’t just shop for a policy. Make sure you also select the best agent.

Let Judge Fite Insurance help you shop for an insurance policy! We represent multiple insurance providers so can be your one-stop shop to compare rates. And we’ll treat you like family!

4. How You Can Reduce Homeowners Insurance Premiums
It may sound like common sense to have a working smoke detector, but did you know that it might also help you receive a lower insurance quote? The same goes for a burglar alarm.

Insurance companies price your premium based on how much risk they foresee, so you can reduce the premium by reducing your liability risk. For example, if you have a pool – which usually increases your insurance cost – you may be able to reduce the likelihood of a claim by installing a fence and a pool cover to minimize the risk of a neighborhood kid wandering onto your property and falling into your pool.

5. How Replacement Coverage Differs From Market Value
There are two key distinctions that every homeowner should know: “replacement cost” versus “market value.” Replacement cost covers repairing or replacing your entire home. Market value is how much someone would pay to buy your home and accompanying land in its current used condition.

When you’re considering the type of coverage to take out, a policy that’s based on market value is typically less expensive but you won’t recover as much in the event of a serious disaster.

Replacement cost policies may cost more, but will cover today’s cost of replacing your covered items – home and belongings. If you have a good emergency fund in place like Dave Ramsey suggests, you may consider getting a policy with a higher deductible, which will allow for lower premiums.

6. Don’t Wait to File a Claim
When buying a policy, make sure to ask about time limits to report a claim. If you wait too long to file a claim, you may not be eligible for benefits, especially if waiting has made the problem worse. For example, if you have water damage and wait to report until mold has set in, your insurance company may deny the claim if it is outside of the claim period they require (such as 14 days).

Remember, however, that filing multiple frivolous claims can increase your insurance cost.

7. Write Everything Down
In addition to saving receipts, contracts and appraisals, document phone calls by writing down who you spoke to and when, and what they said. And keep copies of your records safe, such as storing them online where you can access them via the internet.

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