The home owners’ insurance policy is one of the most important documents a home owner possess, the policy usually goes untouched renewal after renewal, sometimes for decades and in some cases never needed. But if the day comes when disaster strikes the policy can be your best friend. Unforeseen and sudden property damage can be financially devastating. The question is, does your policy have your back?
This is why it never seizes to amaze me how so many property owners accept their home owner’s policy without ever going through it. I’ve actually walked into homes and been given the policy still in the sealed envelope as it was received in the mail almost a year ago just as it’s about to expire. Only to find out that they are only covered for “Wind/Storm” damage and they are dealing with a serious Water Damage crisis. Once in a while the policy has expired!
I can’t stress enough the importance of having the right home owners’ insurance policy and making sure your home is currently and properly covered for any and all damages that can occur during the lifespan of your home.
When choosing the right home insurance policy, I believe you need to start by hiring the right insurance agent. My advice is to select someone that has been referred to you. Ask your family members, friends and your neighbors who they use and select someone that is easily accessible via phone and email. Also, I would recommend hiring a private insurance agent versus one that works directly with an insurance company. This way they can offer you several policies from several insurance companies and you can shop around for the policy that’s right for you and your property.
Once you receive your policy take some time to review the policy, the sooner the better and don’t hesitate to call your insurance agent with any questions or changes you need to your policy. Important things to consider related to your policy:
- What damage is covered? A typical policy should pay for damage in the event of certain storms, fire, vandalism and water damage. Policies also cover liability up to certain limits, protecting the insured in case someone injures himself on the property.
- What isn’t covered? A standard policy has exclusions. Pay attention to these exclusions and if you feel you need to be covered for a stated exclusion such as flood, talk to your insurance agent about adding supplemental coverage.
- What are your monthly premiums? If you’ve taken preventive actions like adding a burglar alarm system, smoke detectors, hurricane shutters, etc. Look to see if it’s being considered, it should lower your insurance quote.
- What is the timeframe of reporting losses? A very important provision and often times well hidden within the policy or stated in confusing verbiage. The time limit is important because often time’s damage occurs but it’s not reported within the time frame and the claim becomes at risk of being denied. It’s a good idea to just ask your insurance agent right off the bat; what is the limit on reporting a loss? And pencil the timeframe onto the front page of the policy.
- Right to Repair? Another very important provision that insurance companies want to utilize more and more is the “Right to Repair” provision. As a homeowner myself I personally believe this provision should not be accepted and included into your policy. No one has more interest in fixing damages to your home than YOU the home owner, but If your home sustains damages covered by your policy under the “Right to Repair” provision, you put YOUR interest in the hands of the insurance company. Insurance companies then have the right to choose what contractors and repairmen are used to do repairs to your home under a pre-agreed rate they have with contractors and repairmen. These contractors and repairmen come in and usually do an inadequate job, often times cutting corners, time and materials to offset the low rates they agreed to accept with the insurance company. They work on “quantity not quality”.
Call Cavalry Public Adjusters for a FREE policy review & consultation . Don’t hesitate to call us the moment property damage occurs.
Remember, your home owner’s policy can be your best friend during a disaster but only if… “it’s got your back”. A home owners policy is the best thing to buy for your home and hopefully never have to use. And if disaster does strike… call in the Cavalry!