- What Is and What Isn’t Covered?
Seems like a simple thing to know, but you’d be surprised how many homeowner’s can’t answer that question. Typical homeowner’s insurance pays for property damage and damage to your possessions from a storm, fire, theft or vandalism. It should also provide liability coverage if someone gets hurt on your property and sues. Homeowner’s insurance can also pay for things that aren’t in your house. Like if personal property is stolen from your car or your luggage is stolen at the airport.
What isn’t covered? Some exclusions include earth movements (earthquakes, sinkholes, landslides, etc.), power failure, war, nuclear hazard, bad workmanship/repairs and flooding. Flooding from above like rain or a careless upstairs neighbor is covered. Flooding from below like sewage backup or ground flooding usually isn’t. And, depending on where you live, tornados may or may not be covered.
- Little Changes Can Make a Big Difference
Something as little as good smoke alarms, burglar alarms or a deadbolt could reduce your insurance premiums as much as 5%. Insurance companies usually base their premiums on what the risk is for them to insure you. So, stack the odds in your favor by adding some preventative measures and reduce your rates.
- Market Value vs. Replacement Cost
Know the difference between the two? If not, you should. Market value is how much someone would pay for your house in the current market. Replacement cost is how much it would be to repair or replace your entire home and land.
- Don’t Wait to File a Claim
Make sure you know what your time limits are to file a claim – and stick to them! Procrastinating could cost you by making your claim ineligible for benefits. You should always stick to the time limits – but especially if waiting will make the damage worse. Then insurance companies definitely won’t pay!
- When to File a Claim
If something happens around your home, don’t take your friends’ or neighbors’ advice that it won’t be covered – find out for yourself. You won’t know if you have a valid claim until you call your insurance company. You never know what they’ll cover until you call. Just make sure you don’t file a ton of frivolous claims. That’s how premiums go up or policies get cancelled.
- Keep Good Records
Like with most important things in life, it pays to keep good documentation and records. After damage occurs, be sure to keep track of every phone call you make, who you speak to and keep every receipt and contract. And make sure to keep these documents in a safe place, either a fire safe or digitally like on a cloud.
- It’s Worth it to Bundle
Bundling isn’t just a gimmick used in insurance commercials – it’s real and can really save you money. Have a car or two and a home? Insure them all with the same company and you’re bound to get a discount on your coverage. Plus, it can be a lot easier dealing with one insurance company versus several. Life’s complicated enough, why not simplify and save when you can?!
If you’re a credit union member, you can save even more on your homeowner’s and auto insurance with TruStage Insurance. Click here to start your free quote today.