The first few days of spring are a good time for homeowners to review their insurance policy’s coverages given the severe weather the season usually brings, according to the Insurance Information Institute (Triple-I).
“As a homeowner, the best place to start your insurance review process is by reading the declarations page of your policy,” said Sean Kevelighan, CEO, Triple-I. “This one-page information sheet offers details on how much coverage you have, your deductibles and how a claim will be paid.”
Policyholders ought to be asking themselves three questions when reviewing their homeowners insurance policy:
1. Is my home covered for its full rebuilding cost?
Home replacement costs have increased more than 10 percent over the past year due to escalating building material and labor prices, according to a recent Triple-I analysis. Standard homeowners insurance policies include dwelling coverage, which will pay to rebuild the policyholder’s home at its current location in the event of a partial or total covered loss. Policyholders who have made major improvements, such as adding a new room, enclosing a porch, or expanding a kitchen or bathroom, should adjust their dwelling coverage limits in consultation with their insurance professional to reflect these changes.
2. Does my home insurance policy cover expensive items?
Standard homeowners insurance policies place dollar limits on the theft of certain types of expensive personal property, like jewelry, furs and silverware. This means the insurer will pay the amount specified in the policy-generally no more than $1,000 to $2,000. To insure expensive personal property to its full dollar value, consider either a special personal property endorsement or a floater. Endorsements and floaters are priced based on the personal property’s appraised value.
3. Does my home insurance policy’s liability coverage fully protect my assets?
Standard homeowners insurance policies include liability coverage. For instance, they cover the policyholder against the cost of lawsuits when bodily injury or property damage is caused to other people by either the policyholder or those residing at the policyholder’s home. Liability coverage also pays for damage caused to other people by the policyholder’s pets. An umbrella liability policy provides an additional layer of coverage above and beyond the liability limits in a homeowner’s insurance policy and can be purchased separately.
Standard homeowners insurance policies cover a home’s structure if it is damaged due to covered disasters, such as a fire or a windstorm (e.g., tornado, hurricane), as well as the home’s personal property in the event the home’s property—including its furniture, electronics and clothing—is damaged due to a covered disaster or is stolen.
Information provided by Insurance Information Institute