Buying home insurance is a good investment. The primary reason is that you just never know what can happen, and having that coverage may be the single factor that can prevent financial ruin. Knowing just how much insurance is needed, though, may be a little tricky. Here are some tips on how you can protect your home and possession with the right amounts of home insurance.
Start With The Value Of Your Home
Knowing how much you home is worth when you buy home insurance is a good place to start. Then you will need to know the two ways to insure your home. The first way is to insure your home for a certain value. This means that you insure it for a specified amount – say $150,000. You cannot receive any more than this value for a claim.
The other way is to insure it according to replacement value. This method will enable you to get an amount equal to what it would cost to replace the original. This is the better way to go, but, of course, it will also cost more.
Select The Coverage
The coverage that you want will come with some options. You have a choice between being covered for a few things, which may be about a dozen possibilities of calamities, the next level which will have a few more added in, and what may be termed as All Risks. This last one will probably exclude some, though, like floods and hurricanes, and maybe earthquakes – those are usually extra.
In this choice, you will also need to select between actual cash value or replacement value. The terms actual cash value refers to the value of the item when it was destroyed. It also means the depreciated value. This will actually provide you with far less value than the other form, and probably (in most cases) will not give you enough in return to rebuild what you lost. The other form, replacement value, means that your house is replaced the way it was regardless of what it costs.
Add Your Possessions
The same is true of your possessions. You choose how you want to insure them. Then, you will need to provide a written description of your possessions, and it is best that you also supply pictures. The easiest way to do this is to walk through the house with a movie camera and talk about the main and most valuable items. This includes going through the closets, too, and the basement – anywhere you have anything that you want to be insured.
Home insurance providers will demand that you have at coverage for at least 80% of the value of the house – 90% is preferred. You will need to know at what percentage of the value of your home will things like personal property, outbuildings, boats, etc., be covered for. Also, make sure you have the recommended amount of liability in case
someone gets injured or sues.
Much more is involved in the process of buying a good homeowner’s policy, but these things will give you a basic understanding. Shop around for the best prices, and talk to your home insurance agent about how to reduce your cost by things such as alarm systems, fire extinguishers, fire-retardant materials, and more.