Mistake #1: Focusing on the PriceWhen you shop, one of the first things you probably do is to check the price tag. Knowing what you're getting with your home insurance is crucial, just as with everything else you buy. So, always double-check to be sure your "cheap" policy isn't less costly because crucial coverage was cut out or the provider has insufficient reinsurance. Instead, get the coverage you require, not the cheapest one. You wouldn't purchase something from a store lacking parts just because of the price. However, it's not impossible to lower the cost and keep the coverage. For example, increasing your deductible and getting the correct level of coverage are both smart options if you want to cut costs while still getting the protection you want. Finding an agent that can run quotes with multiple carriers is a great idea. It helps you find the best rate and makes it easier on you so you don't have to spend your day calling lots of agents.
Mistake #2: Not Understanding Your CoveragePeople rarely read the fine print and the terms and conditions. Moreover, sometimes they assume something is covered without knowing for sure. For example, many people don't understand the difference between home insurance and a home warranty and believe they're both included. So, while home insurance protects you from the things that could happen (like damage), a warranty protects you from things that are bound to happen sooner or later. Also, while most people consider home insurance obligatory, a warranty is not.
So, if you want your appliance protected from wear and tear, you should consider a home warranty, not home insurance. If you want a home warranty, browse different providers until you find the deal you like. Just like with insurance, read all the fine print so you know what is covered.
Mistake #3: Not Accounting for an Increase in Your Home's ValueMost properties rise in value over time, but many individuals don't realize this or even think about it when getting home insurance. This means that if you have had a policy in place for some time, without revisiting your coverages over the years, the inflation protection might not have kept up with the home values, and you might not have enough coverage in the event of a catastrophic loss.
To avoid this happening to you, you should revisit your home insurance every couple of years with your agent to make sure your coverage keeps up with the market. This guarantees you adequate money to fix or replace your items and property.
Mistake #4: Choosing Actual Cash Value Instead of Replacement CostPurchasing a policy that compensates for the actual monetary worth of their possessions rather than the replacement cost is another one of the common mistakes when buying homeowners insurance. The issue with this is that many of your possessions will cost far more to replace than their actual value was at the time of loss. For instance, replacing your TV can cost $1500 even though its replacement value is only $200. You will be responsible for covering the difference if you decide to have your insurance valued at real cash value.
Mistake #5: Thinking Flood Insurance Is IncludedA typical insurance policy does not always cover flood damage, and skipping out on additional coverage might cost you a lot of money. You may not think you require flood insurance, but you probably do. One inch of water may damage property for $25,000, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and more than 25% of insurance claims originate from areas outside of high-risk flood zones. So, before you pick your home insurance, make sure your agency includes flood damage and other weather-related damages. However, this doesn't mean you should do nothing in case of extreme weather events. Even if you have the home insurance that covers all, you should still take the necessary steps to prepare your home for the upcoming storm once you hear about it on the news.
Mistake #6: Poor CommunicationMake sure your channels of communication with your insurance companies are solid. Get in touch with them as soon as you need to file a claim because depending on the type of claim, it might not be covered if you miss certain time frames. So, make sure to act fast and take many pictures as proof. It would be best if you had "before" and "after" pictures of your house. Moreover, it would help if you weren't too quick to throw out the damaged items and clean up the mess. Having proof of any type can significantly hasten the claims procedure. Finally, when describing property damage, there are often some communication issues. The ideal approach is to be precise and clear when describing the damage. Make sure you answer all your claims representative's questions and if you have a few of your own, ask them straight away.
In ConclusionYou are now aware of the common mistakes when buying homeowners insurance which means you know what to avoid. Over time, investing the effort in insurance alternatives study will help you save money and your house. The right homeowner's insurance company will help you through the process and make sure your coverage is adequate for your needs while ensuring you aren't overpaying at the same time. To ensure you're working with the right agency, try to meet up with them in person and ask all your questions.