Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Got home insurance?

I volunteer with the Red Cross and the majority of time I am called to help people who have been burned out of their home. And guess what, the family is never covered by home insurance and if they rent, they do not have renter's insurance. Here is a piece on home insurance and I think it's important. Don't loose everything by taking a gamble. It's not worth it!!

Protect your home and those you share it with. In addition to providing shelter and comfort for ourselves and our loved ones, our home is often our single greatest asset. And it’s important that we protect that precious investment. Most homeowners realize the importance of homeowners insurance in safeguarding the value of a home. What they probably don’t know is that about two-thirds of all homeowners are under-insured. According to a national survey, the average homeowner has enough insurance to rebuild only about 80 percent of his or her house.

The shortfall is the result of several factors:
Home values have increased significantly. Most homes are worth considerably more than they were five years ago. Construction costs are up. Rising prices for lumber, copper piping and labor have pushed up replacement costs by seven percent a year since 2001.

Home remodeling is at an all-time high. From outdoor rooms to gourmet kitchens, homeowners are upgrading their living spaces, but not updating their policies to reflect the increase in value.

Insurance policies have changed. Rather than offering “guaranteed replacement cost” coverage, which pays whatever it costs to rebuild a home exactly the way it was, most standard policies provide only “extended replacement cost,” which places a cap on building costs that may be less rebuilding the home.

What a standard homeowners policy covers:
A homeowners insurance policy covers your home, your belongings, injury or property damage to others, and living expenses if you are unable to live in your home temporarily because of fire or other insured disaster.

The policy pays to repair or rebuild your home if it is damaged or destroyed by fire, lightning or another disaster listed in your policy. Some risks, such as flooding or acts of war, are routinely excluded from most policies.
Your belongings, such as furniture and clothing, are insured against theft, fire or other insured disaster.

Also covered are the legal costs for injury or property damage that you or family members, including your pets, cause to other people. If someone is injured on your property and decides to sue, the insurance will cover the cost of defending you in court and any damages you may have to pay. Policies also provide medical coverage in the event someone other than your family is injured in your home.

If your home is seriously damaged and needs to be rebuilt, your policy will cover hotel bills, restaurant meals and other living expenses incurred while you are temporarily relocated.

How much insurance do you need?
Homeowners should review their policy each year to make sure they have sufficient coverage for their home. The three questions to ask yourself are:
Do I have enough insurance to protect my assets?
Do I have enough insurance to rebuild my home?
Do I have enough insurance to replace all of my possessions?
Here’s some information that will help you determine how much insurance is enough to meet your needs and ensure that your home will be sufficiently protected.

Protect your assets:
Make sure you have enough liability insurance to protect your assets in case of a lawsuit due to injury or property damage. Most homeowners insurance policies provide a minimum of $100,000 worth of liability coverage. With the increasingly higher costs of litigation and monetary compensation, many homeowners now purchase $300,000 or more in liability protection. If that sounds like a lot, consider that the average dog bite claim is about $20,000. Talk with your insurance agent about the best coverage for your situation.

1 comment:

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