Although it is not mandatory to have homeowners insurance when you own your home. Homeowners insurance is an incredibly important investment. Your home is likely your most precious and valuable asset, it is greatly advised to purchase coverage before an emergency.

TIP: You want to make sure your new home is completely covered in a total loss. When purchasing home insurance, it’s important to understand some key dwelling coverage factors, such as coverage limits and types of coverage as policies differ between homes.

TRICK: A Replacement Cost Estimator Tool coupled with the data from a “property search record” of your home can be used to calculate your home’s rebuilding cost. Your “property search record” can be accessed on your City or County’s Real Estate Assessor’s Office website.

TRICK: If your home is financed, your lender may require for the coverage to be equal or greater than the loan value. But coverage is generally based on replacement costs of the home, as land, the popularity or convenience of your home isn’t covered.

TIP: Today’s value of replacement cost may adjust from economically factors year to year, and especially after a disaster when materials and labor are scarce. You may wish to add “Additional Replacement Cost Coverage” to help with inflated costs during a home’s total loss in these situations.

TIP: All homeowners insurance policies have deductibles. You may have either a single or split deductible. Your deductible is your out-of-pocket expense before the insurance company begins to pay for your loss.

TRICK: It’s also important to factor in things that could save you money on your policy, like security systems, new electrical systems, a new roof, a new heating and cooling system, new plumbing, a new water heater or anything else that makes your home more reliable, safe, and well-constructed.

TIP: Your homeowner’s insurance has built-in coverage for your possessions. This coverage is known as “Contents Coverage.” Please inquire on the amount and type of Contents Coverage your policy possesses. Replacement Cost is superior to Actual Cost Value Coverage.

TRICK: In case of an emergency, Contents Coverage is responsible for replacing all of your belongings, such as furniture, pots and pans, clothing, electronics, etc. Items such as jewelry, furs, coins, guns, and collectibles need to be listed separately as “Scheduled Property” on your homeowners policy. It’s important to make a home inventory of all your things or at least take pictures of your possessions and e-mail them to yourself in case of an emergency.

TRICK: It’s advised to continuously review your homeowners insurance every couple years as your life changes and home improvements are made. On the flip-side, the insurance industry continues to evolve, company carriers compete for market share on price and coverage. New types of coverages emerge to provide competitive and realistic protection on current environmental trends. Dated policies may need to be re-written or revised into the new policy forms to provide accurate protection.

TIP: The process of purchasing homeowner’s insurance can be intimidating and time-consuming. That’s why many homeowners prefer to work with an insurance professional who can offer insurance products from several competing companies. An insurance broker agency can serve as a trusted advisor and works at no cost to you to help you find the right coverage for your needs.

TRICK: Smitherwood Insurance has knowledge of the different carriers product offerings and can tailor coverage that protects you and your family. We also, when needed can help you navigate the claims process and stand in your corner as your personal insurance advocate.

If you or someone you know is in need of homeowner’s insurance, please contact me to set up a consultation. Smitherwood Insurance is proud to offer our clients all the resources and benefits of a large agency without sacrificing personal service and care.