Home Insurance

Essential Things

Your house is important to you, and likely the largest financial investment you will ever make. You want to protect your residence, and home insurance is a safe bet if you know what to look for. Learn how to benefit the most from this type of coverage.

Natural Disasters

Check with your city zoning committee to see if your residence is located in an area that is known for floods, tornadoes, or other kinds of natural disasters. You want to make sure your home insurance covers these types of damages, especially if you live near a river, lake, or in a known hurricane or tornado area. This coverage adds additional cost to your premium but is well worth it. Without this kind of protection, you may have to replace your roof or clean water damage out of your own pocket.

Additions to Your Property

If you have a fireplace or a pond in your backyard, you want to make sure your home insurance covers these additions. Fireplaces are a risk and should be included in your premium. Ponds should be added on as well since they are often considered a flood risk. A swimming pool poses a health hazard, so make sure this is also noted in your premium. You don’t want to leave any area of your residence without proper protection, especially when they are not considered standard for a house.

Homeowner’s Insurance What to Do If Your House Burns Down

Fire is such a powerful, frightening, and destructive force. And few disasters can be more horrifying than a house fire. There is much to be done when you have just lost your home to a fire but how do you stay focused when you are looking at the smoldering rubble of

what was your home?

First Steps, FirstThe most important first step is to follow the directions of the authorities to ensure your safety. Don’t try to enter the area until you are told when (or if) it is safe to do so.

The next step is to contact your family members and let them know what has happened. Reassure them that you’re OK and share the most pertinent information necessary (like how to reach you).

Contact Your Insurance Agent

Now it’s time to call your insurance agent to begin your major claim process. Having a plan of action to follow can help you stay focused on immediate concerns while you are grappling with emotional and physical losses. These are some of the steps you will want to discuss with your insurance agent. File Your Claim Immediately: contact your agent as soon as possible to start the claim process. You will be asked to submit a “proof of loss claim” that itemizes your losses and values.

Secure the Property

Most homeowners’ policies require that you secure your property following a fire. Keep an eye on the property and be alert to new problems or any appearance of something that’s been disturbed. An Advance: you may need basics like a toothbrush and clothing right away and won’t want to wait until the claim has been filed and approved to purchase them. Ask your agent about an advance against the claim that can cover replacement necessities. (Be sure to save receipts for your
replacement purchases.)

Track Your Living Expenses: a loss of use clause in your policy entitles you to reimbursement for many (but not necessarily all) expenses you incur
while you are unable to live in your home.

Estimates: first, you will need an estimate of prior market value (or the cost of replacing damaged items or parts). Your insurance company’s adjustors will prepare an estimate that you are not obligated to accept unless you are satisfied that it is a fair estimate. You may want to hire an independent estimator to prepare an estimate. Ultimately, be sure that you and your insurance company agree on the scope of work to be done.

Pay Your Premiums: don’t stop paying your premiums just because your home and belongings are gone. Your insurance can help cover the cost of repairing accidental damage at your temporary location. Talk with your agent about modifying parts of your existing policy that can temporarily reduce your premiums.

Signing Off on Your Claim: insurance companies usually want to close claims as soon as possible, but you may discover additional
losses that you didn’t think of at the time of the disaster. Wait a few months before allowing your claim to be closed.

Insurance agent

You and your insurance agent will have a lot to talk about in the coming weeks. Take time to ask as many questions as you need to clarify what your policy will cover to get you situated in your new home. One final thing keeps track of everything including calls, emails, letters, invoices, estimates, bills, permits, etc. Place these important notes and items in a securable binder. You may need some of this information in case of a dispute or to verify part of your claim. (If your agent asks for a document, forward a copy of it, only.)

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