Useful Tips & Tricks

Is Your Home Fully Insured?

Posted by: vpenson

If you’re like most Americans, your home is your largest
investment, so you know how important it is to protect it. You probably take
safety precautions and have insurance that will cover you in case of a loss.

But are you fully
protected? Chances are, no. You probably are running the risk of having to pay
money out of pocket to rebuild your home after a loss, to replace stolen items
or to settle a liability lawsuit.

Consider the following questions to determine if you are, like
most homeowners, underinsured.

  1. Are you working at home? Do you
    have a home-based business? If so, you’re not alone—40% of Americans
    operate a home-based business that provides their sole means of living or
    extra income. Most people don’t know that their standard homeowners
    insurance provides very limited coverage for business property and
    generally no liability protection for business use of the home. You can
    get this coverage added to your homeowners policy by an endorsement or by
    purchasing a separate business policy.
  2. Do you have recreational vehicles? Watercraft,
    snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles and similar recreational vehicles add
    spice to your family’s life. But you should know that liability coverage
    for these type vehicles is not
    provided by your homeowners insurance. Accidents happen. So add this critical
    coverage to your policy by an endorsement or addition.
  3. Did you build an addition recently?
    If so, did you update your homeowners policy? Most Americans neglect this
    important step, leaving their family vulnerable to significant
    out-of-pocket expenses to rebuild after a loss. New additions to the
    structure and grounds may increase your liability and coverage needs. So,
    if you’ve added a pool, another bedroom or a home theater, you best inform
    your insurance agent so that you can be adequately protected
  4. Will your policy pay to rebuild or
    replace your home?
    The recent ballooning of home prices has lead to a
    corollary increase in the cost of building materials. These increases
    directly impact the amount of insurance homeowners must carry to avoid
    costly penalties for being underinsured. Get a home appraisal now so you
    can determine how much homeowners insurance you need to rebuild or replace
    your home.
  5. Do you own an historic home? If
    the answer is yes, your home poses a unique requirement on your homeowners
    insurance. That’s because older homes do not meet the stringent building
    codes in effect in most towns and cities today. If there is a loss, your
    old home will have to be rebuilt to the new code. A standard homeowners policy limits increased
    construction costs and the lost value of property. Again, add this
    coverage as an endorsement to your policy.
  6. Do you have expensive items or a
    collection?
    Most standard homeowners policies limit coverage for
    high-value items like expensive jewelry, art collections, antiques and
    other collectibles. Think about how valuable these items are to your
    family—both monetarily and emotionally—and decide if you need to secure
    additional coverage either by an endorsement to your homeowners policy or
    through a specialty policy.
  7. Do you have medical payments coverage?
    Most homeowners don’t carry this protection, often called “goodwill”
    protection. It provides payments for medical care for people injured on
    your property (regardless of fault) up to three years after an accident.
    In today’s lawsuit-happy society, medical payments coverage could save you
    tens of thousands of dollars. Get this affordable coverage added to your
    homeowners insurance policy today.
  8. Check for leaks regularly. If there’s
    a leak in your house, then you’ve got problems and probably damage to your
    home, too. To prevent a lead from mushrooming you should regularly inspect
    your home. Look for discoloration in ceilings, floors, walls and tiles.
    Check for water in the basement and around appliances. Check the
    foundation. And, check indoor hose connections in the laundry room,
    bathrooms and kitchen. Repair damaged or suspect areas immediately.
  9. Get an alarm system. Unfortunately,
    there are crooks among us who are looking to take away your prized possessions.
    Arm yourself! If you don’t own an alarm system, get one. It is a great
    deterrent against break-ins and could save you money on your homeowners
    insurance. Test it regularly—at least monthly—to ensure it is operating
    properly. And, most importantly, use it. An alarm system will not dissuade
    burglars if it’s off!
  10. Got a pet? Fido sure is cute. But
    he could cost you a lot of money if he bites the neighbor’s kid or the
    mailman. Pet bites and attacks are one of the most common causes of
    homeowner liability claims. Insurance companies judge certain breeds to be
    more dangerous. Some, such as pit bulls, may be excluded from coverage
    altogether. Before adopting a pet check with your insurance company to
    ensure it will be covered by your homeowners insurance.

By addressing these issues now you can prevent costly claims
and save money on homeowners insurance premiums over the long term. And, your
family will have peace of mind knowing that your homeowners insurance will be
there no matter what life and Mother Nature throw at you.

The Lynchburg Insurance Group is a local Trusted Choice®
agency that represents multiple insurance companies, so it offers you a variety
of personal and business coverage choices and can customize an insurance plan
to meet your specialized needs.

Visit us online at www.thelynchburginsurancegroup.com
or call us at (434) 582-1444.

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