How to Evaluate Homeowners Insurance

Homeowners insurance is required by mortgage companies to help protect your home and contents.

Homeowners insurance is required by mortgage companies to help protect your home and contents.

Homeowners insurance is a policy that all homeowners must have in order to be financially protected loss due to fire, theft and other causes, as well as against claims made against them if another person is injured or sustains a loss while on their property. You may have had the same policy for many years, but it is in your best interests to evaluate your current policy against any changes to your home or lifestyle and then compare it against other policies to ensure you are well-protected.

Read through your current policy. Contact your insurance agent or broker if you cannot locate a policy with the current year listed for the coverage period. Read through each addendum, attachment, modification and rider to better understand what is and is not covered.

Compare the current appraisal value of your home against the one noted on your policy. Contact your local tax assessment office to and ask for the assessed value of your home if you do not have a copy of the appraisal. Contact your insurance agent if your policy figure is lower than the appraised value. Inform your agent about all home improvements, remodeling projects and additions to the home.

Examine each line item. Note the claim limits, including personal property limits. Call your agent and have limits raised if you have purchased new furniture, electronics or other expensive items that bring your total value of possessions to a figure higher than that stated on the policy.

Determine the value of your jewelry and collectibles. Consider adding a rider for such items as they can be kept separate from your other personal property. This is a beneficial step if you have a lot of items that fall in to those higher priced categories.

Talk with your agent about discounts for having a home security system and a fire suppression system, as well as about bundle discounts for having additional insurance policies through the same agent or company. Have the agent send you an updated copy of your policy with all changes made. Use those figures to compare other insurance company offerings.

Items you will need

  • Copy of your current homeowners policy
  • Notebook

Tips

  • Keep all homeowners policy papers and relevant home paperwork in one file in a safe location.
  • Review your policy once per year in order to stay on top of changes to your home that may impact your policy limits and coverage.
  • Keep copies of all homeowners insurance policy information in a separate location outside and away from your home in the event of a fire, theft or other event that could destroy such paperwork.

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