9 Home Insurance Tips
Facts to consider so you can be sure you’ve got the right property and home insurance.
Home insurance coverage may be based on facts and figures, but there’s an art to knowing if you’ve got the right kind and the right amount. Follow these nine tips to ensure you’re properly covered.
1. Consider your home insurance, rental insurance and property coverage limits.
Standard coverage limits for jewelry, art, business equipment and other pricey items are usually lower than what the items are actually worth. Adding a supplemental rider can help ensure that these items are fully covered. Also be sure you understand your homeowners policy limits.
2. Remember that flood insurance (and other hazard insurance) is a separate purchase.
Do you know how much damage can be caused by just one inch of floodwater? The Federal Emergency Management Agency (most commonly known as FEMA) puts the price tag at up to $25,000. To protect your home from flood damage, you need to purchase flood insurance. Keep in mind that there’s a waiting period with flood insurance—your coverage usually doesn’t start until 30 days after you purchase a policy.
3. Home improvements may mean you need greater coverage.
Building a deck or remodeling your kitchen adds value to your home, which increases its replacement cost. Let your agent know of changes you make to your home in order to accurately insure the property.
4. Home maintenance now can prevent trouble later.
Removing dead limbs from trees, keeping gutters clean and fixing leaks are just a few of the ways to prevent or reduce damage to your home. If you ignore a problem like a leak in your roof and the damage worsens, insurance may not cover it.
5. An accident on your property could cost more than your home insurance policy covers.
For extra protection, consider the value of an umbrella policy, which can provide you with additional liability coverage, starting at your home policy’s maximum and extending to $1 million or more.
6. Personal place or rental? If you switch things up, talk with an agent.
If you use your home for business, make it into a rental property or leave it vacant, you could violate your existing policy—or create greater vulnerability to a claim. When in doubt, talk to your agent so you’ll know if you need to adjust your insurance coverage.
7. Compare actual cash value to replacement cost value.
The replacement cost value of an item like a roof or a stove is what it would cost to buy a new one. The actual cash value is what the used item is worth after depreciation. There’s a difference in cost (actual cash value coverage costs less) because the payouts will be different, so make sure you know what kind of coverage you have.
8. Safe and sound can save money.
Smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors and a home security system are good ways to protect yourself and your loved ones. They can also reduce the cost of your insurance, so be sure to let your agent know about all the things you’ve done to make your home safe.
9. Ask your agent for customized advice.
An agent is a helpful guide and will assist you in choosing the best policy for you. They can advise you on the pros and cons of carrying a higher deductible, why you might want to avoid filing a small claim, and how to determine the amount of insurance coverage you should have. They will also be able to advise you regarding discounts you may qualify for.
Insurance underwritten by one of the following companies: Auto Club Insurance Association, MemberSelect Insurance Company, Auto Club Group Insurance Company, Auto Club Property-Casualty Insurance Company, Auto Club South Insurance Company, Auto Club Insurance Company of Florida, or non-affiliated insurance companies. Coverage is subject to all policy terms, conditions, exclusions and limitations. Discounts and savings opportunities subject to eligibility requirements. Subject to underwriting requirements. AAA Insurance is a collection of AAA branded insurance products, services, and programs made available to qualified members. Personal lines insurance is underwritten by Auto Club Insurance Association, MemberSelect Insurance Company, Auto Club Group Insurance Company, Auto Club Property-Casualty Insurance Company, The Members Insurance Company, Universal Insurance Company, Auto Club South Insurance Company, or Auto Club Insurance Company of Florida. ©2023 The Auto Club Group. All rights reserved.