Have You Asked Your Insurer These 4 Questions?
You know you need homeowners insurance. Learn what questions to ask when purchasing a policy.
Your insurance representative can help you find coverage and discounts that fit your needs, and also provide you with greater peace of mind that you’ve planned for the unexpected. Before you purchase your policy, ask these questions to get expert guidance on your coverage:
1. Should I Separately Insure (Schedule) My Personal Property?
If you have valuables like fine jewelry, furs, art, sporting equipment, professional camera gear or musical instruments, your insurance company may recommend individually insuring, or scheduling, these items. This will broaden your coverage compared to the limitations provided by the standard homeowners policy. If a scheduled item is lost or damaged, your policy can pay to replace it without the claim being subject to a deductible.
2. What Home Insurance Discounts Do I Qualify For?
Your insurer can help you save money – without reducing your coverage – by checking if you’re eligible for discounts associated with the following:
- Combining your home insurance with auto, umbrella or life policies for extra savings
- Membership with a partner organization or affiliation, such as a professional association or university
- Alarm systems such as burglar alarms, sprinkler systems or fire alarms1
- Automatic detection devices such as a temperature monitoring system or water and/or gas leak detection system2
- New or remodeled homes3
- A clean claims history
3. How Does My Deductible Work?
Your deductible is the amount of money you are responsible for paying as part of a claim – typically for damage to your own property.4 A deductible can be either a specific dollar amount or a percentage of the total amount of insurance on a policy.
For example, if the total for your covered loss is $5,000 and your deductible is $1,000, your insurance company would pay $4,000. A higher deductible limit will typically lower the cost of your insurance.
Your homeowners insurance representative can offer pointers on choosing the appropriate deductible to ensure you can afford to pay it (out of pocket) if you need to file a claim.
4. How Much Would it Cost to Rebuild My Home?
The answer to this question will determine how much coverage makes sense for your home in the unfortunate event of a covered loss, such as a fire. Although you may think your home’s market value – the estimated value of your home and its land, in current market conditions – is best, this amount is likely different than what it would cost to rebuild your home.
Your insurer should calculate the replacement cost based on factors such as your home’s square footage, year of construction, and age of heating, plumbing and electrical systems to arrive at a recommended estimate.
Keep in mind that you can call your insurer for expert guidance at any point during your policy term, so keep their number on hand.
To ensure you receive outstanding protection and service, learn what other characteristics to look for in a home insurance company.
- Terms and conditions apply, must qualify for each discount. Not all discounts are available in all states.
- Documents may be required.
- Discounts may vary.
- Understanding Your Insurance Deductibles, Insurance Information Institute, 2018.