Whether you own a single-family home in Manheim Township or a condo in Penn Manor, you probably have homeowner’s insurance. When is the last time you thought about your policy? What is your deductible? What’s covered? What happens in case disaster strikes?
Now is a great time to consider reviewing your insurance policy with a fine-tooth comb, and making adjustments appropriate for your current life. Here are five suggestions of things to consider when reviewing your policy:
1. Document your belongings. Go around the house and video tape all of your belongings. Take pictures of makes and models of high ticket items. Be sure not to miss anything! Consider items you have in storage, closets. etc. Once you have everything accounted for, save the photos and videos in a safe place; a security deposit box, a relative’s house, or the cloud. This will allow you to remember all of your possessions, should a disaster, such as a house fire, occur. Dealing with rebuilding after such an event is extremely stressful. Trying to remember all of the items you owned during a time of crisis will only increase that stress. Having documentation prepared ahead of time can help in easing the burden.
2. Check your home’s insurance value. The most important thing to consider here is how much money will it cost to rebuild your home? Your opinion of your home value, an appraisal, or even home assessment do not factor. What you need to know is the cost to reconstruct from the ground up. This is the value you want to be insured for. Most homes are under-insured, and this type of coverage is inexpensive. Make sure you’re prepared for anything and get the appropriate coverage.
3. Consider your valuables. Insurance policies typically have limits on what are considered “valuables” – things like jewelry, furs, etc. If you have collections such as these that are worth a sizable amount of money, you want to be sure to get these things itemized so that you can be sure the true value is covered. If you aren’t sure what the value of the items are, consider having them appraised by a professional so you can obtain adequate coverage.
4. Check your deductible. If your homeowner’s policy has a deductible of $250 or $500, consider increasing it. What are the odds you’ll submit a $500 claim to your insurance company? Raising the deductible will lessen the overall cost of your policy, or allow you to apply those monies elsewhere.
5. Know how to file a claim. Make sure you review your policy and document all contact information necessary should you need to file a claim. Save a copy of this information with your property inventory. This way, if you need to file a claim, you have the information at your fingertips. This will allow you to move quickly should you need to place a claim.