Coverage Checklist for Home Insurance - Are You Prepared?
A good home insurance policy will be very specifically tailored to the needs of the home in question, so you should put together as much relevant information as possible before asking potential insurers for quotes.
I’ve set out below a list of some of the details you need to know about your home. Insurers will probably require most of these anyway, but to make certain you have an adequate cover you should give as much information as possible, and be sure to raise any questions you may have.
I hope you find this checklist useful, but don’t hesitate to get in touch if you need any more help.
1. Basic Information
The essentials to know about your home include –
- total size in square feet
- main building material for exterior walls
- type of roof and roofing material
- number of stories, rooms and normal number of occupants
- any detached structures, for example, a garage
- how your home is heated/cooled; any wood-burning stoves, open fireplaces etc
Be sure to clarify with the insurer exactly what hazards are being covered. These should normally cover such eventualities as fire, flood and storm damage, but if you live in an area of unusual climate risk, for example, a region prone to hurricanes, you will need to confirm exactly what coverage is available.
This information should be sufficient for the calculation of the basic repair/rebuild insurance for your home, but there is much more to consider.
2. The Contents of Your Home
The next important areas of coverage are the contents of your home, including -
- kitchen and other appliances
- TVs, computers and other electronics
- floorings, furniture, kitchen implements, tools and bedding
- clothes, books, and other personal effects
- any items of unusual value such as jewelry or artworks (these should be individually itemized and valued)
3. Temporary Accommodation Costs
Any rebuild or substantial repair of your home will probably render it uninhabitable for some time so your insurance should also include cover for the cost of temporary accommodation and any associated transportation costs.
Your quoting insurer will be able to tell you how much coverage of this kind may be available, and what it will cost. You should also tell the insurer if you are running a business from your home as this will affect both your needs and the cost of cover.
4. Liability Insurance
You should be aware that as a homeowner you may be legally liable for any injuries or loss caused to visitors or passers-by because of inadequate maintenance of your home and its immediate surrounds.
Falling tree branches or roofing materials, for example, are a common cause of injury to pedestrians and vehicles which can be insured against, but the law may vary from state to state so you should ask your insurer about the standard coverage they advise in your area.
If you have pets, particularly dogs, it may be worth considering liability cover for any damage or injury they may cause.
Make Sure of Your Coverage
Finally, you should be aware that all contracts of insurance rely on what lawyers call “utmost good faith”. This means that you need to give your insurer any information you think may be relevant, even if it’s not directly asked for. This will give you the peace of mind of knowing exactly what you are covered for if the worst should happen.
Matthew Stewart Real Estate Team
for any questions your have regarding this blog post.
This information is shared with permission from Hawkeye Home Inspections.