Do you know what time of year it is? This is the time of year when the largest number of home owners receive their home insurance renewals. Why is that you may ask? Well, since summer is the most popular time to move, it is the most popular time to buy a home and, therefore, the most popular time to buy home owner’s insurance. Since many of you are likely reviewing your home insurance policies right about now I thought it would be an appropriate time for an article about the basics of home insurance and what to look for when you review your policy.
Your home is the center of your daily life, and likely your most valuable asset. When your home is damaged or destroyed, you need your claim settled by an insurance company that understands this simple fact. Sparrow General Insurance Agency can help you find the homeowner’s insurance that will best meet your needs and provide the most valuable combination of tailored coverage, quality service and fair pricing.
Californians – What you need to know about homeowners insurance
Whether you own or rent, insuring the place you call home can help protect you financially if you suffer a loss due to fire, theft, vandalism, or other covered events. It will also cover you in the event someone is injured while on your property and wins a legal judgment against you.
Homeowners policies differ by which losses are covered, which coverages you choose, and what type of residence you own. You choose which policy is best for you, whether it’s a comprehensive policy that cover losses such as fire, hail, smoke, falling objects, vandalism and theft of personal property, or whether it’s a policy that covers only specified losses.
Sparrow General is here to help you find the right insurance for your home
Whether you’re a home or condo owner, a renter, or a landlord, Sparrow General will work with you to find a home insurance policy that fits your needs. We specialize in making it easy to choose the insurance coverage that gives you the best value for the best price.
Your home insurance policy is most often made up of the specific options you choose, so how much you’ll pay for your policy depends on:
• What you select. Oftentimes homeowners insurance options are priced individually, so how much you’ll pay for your policy depends on what coverages you buy.
• Do you have a deductible you can live with? Higher deductibles lower your premium by shifting part of the loss payment to you. For example, if you had a $1,000 deductible, you would be responsible for paying the first $1,000 of the covered loss. When you review your policy ask yourself….am I willing to accept a higher deductible to lower my costs?
• Where you set your limits. You may choose to set higher limits than the recommended amount if appropriate to your situation and needs.
Achieving the Right Coverage and the Right Value
The amount you pay for your homeowners insurance depends on many factors. Think of your personal housing situation, and the assets you want to protect.
Protection for Your Home
Property or Dwelling Coverage typically pays to repair or rebuild your home if it’s damaged or destroyed by an insured event like a kitchen fire or windstorm. Be sure you have enough dwelling coverage not only to rebuild.
What if the building codes have changed since the home was first built? If your home needs to be rebuilt and the original building codes no longer exist than you can be responsible for the expenses to bring your home up to code. Make sure you have some coverage for Building Ordinance coverage on your home policy.
Protection for You and Other People
Personal Liability Coverage applies if someone is injured or their property is damaged and you are to blame. An example would be if someone tripped and fell in your home and was injured. Another example would be if your dog bit a neighbor. The coverage generally applies anywhere in the world. When choosing your liability coverage limits, consider things like how much money you make and the assets you have. Your personal liability coverage should be high enough to protect all your assets (equity in your home, savings, etc.) to provide protection to you if you are sued.
This covers medical expenses for guests if they are injured on your property, and in certain cases covers people who are injured off of your property. It does not cover health care costs for you or other members of your household.
Additional Living Expenses
If you can’t live in your home because of a covered loss, for example there was a fire and your home needed to be rebuilt, your home insurance policy will pay additional living expenses (rent, moving costs, etc.) —commonly for up to 24 months—while damage is assessed and your home is repaired or rebuilt.
Protection for Your Belongings
Your home is filled with furniture, clothing, electronics and other items that mean a lot to you. Personal property Insurance helps replace these items if they are lost, stolen or destroyed as a result of a covered loss. So, it’s best to review your Personal Property limit of your policy and make sure that you feel you are adequately protected in the event that all your things need to be replaced.
Scheduled Personal Property Coverage
Typically homeowners insurance policies have policy limits as to how much coverge is provided on special possessions such as jewelry, art, antiques or collectibles. A good rule of thumb is talk to your Agent about adding this coverage. It provides broader coverage for specific items.
If You Rent Out Your Home
Landlords may have the option to buy optional coverage for the risks posed by tenant-occupied dwellings. If you are a landlord it’s a good idea to make sure you are adequately protected in the event the home needs to be remodeled or rebuilt and you no longer have you are no longer receiving rental income. Coverage for lost rental income is an option that can be included in your policy.
Are you worried you aren’t completely covered? Consider an umbrella insurance policy that extends your liability coverage.
Hermosa Beach, California Home Insurance – Protect the Things that Matter to You
A good rule of thumb is to make an inventory of your home and personal belongings. If possible, make a list as well as take photos or video – using two inventory methods can help expedite the claim resolution process. Keep this list somewhere other than your home. This isn’t mandatory, it’s just that in the event of a large loss, such as a fire, it makes it so much easier to jog your memory as to what personal items you have. Remember, every item in every drawer is considered personal property. Could you possibly remember every item in every drawer of your home? It definitely makes it easier if you go through the home and video tape opening each and every drawer and cabinet as you walk through your home.
Every home is unique – talk to us today and we’d be happy to review your home insurance policy with you to determine whether you are adequately covered. We can also assist new home owners to find out how to get the best price and value on their homeowners insurance. We are Sparrow General Insurance Agency. Call us today at (310) 379-0605.