When searching for homeowners’ insurance, it can be difficult to know exactly what you should be looking for. Let’s face it — shopping for homeowners insurance is nobody’s favorite thing to do in the world. But taking a little extra time when weighing your decisions can result in significant savings down the line.
Here are five quick and easy Boca Raton homeowners’ insurance tips that can get you pointed in the right direction when shopping for an insurance policy:
Purchase flood insurance
What many homeowners fail to realize when purchasing insurance is that the vast majority of policies don’t cover damage from flooding. In fact, only about 13 percent of Americans have home insurance that covers flood damage. Flood insurance is also easily available to most homeowners through the federally run National Flood Insurance Program.
Keep an inventory of your valuables
Chances are that you have a few valuable belongings in your home that would be costly to replace if they were lost or damaged. However, if you fail to make and update an inventory of your personal belongings, your insurance company may dispute your claim. To avoid the difficult process of proving ownership after the fact, create a complete inventory of your property and how much each item is worth. You should update this inventory regularly and use photo and video documentation whenever possible.
Understand the difference between market value and replacement cost
Often, when homes are damaged, the cost of rebuilding can actually exceed the market value of the home. This sometimes happens when a home needs to be brought up to certain construction codes, which can significantly drive up the cost of rebuilding. You should talk to your insurer about getting extended replacement coverage, which may include the increased cost of replacement. Remember that you must be insured to at least 80 percent of your home’s value to be compliant with most policies.
Do not assume your policy covers regional risks
Too many people automatically assume that a standard homeowners’ insurance policy will be crafted in a way to include the most common risks in that area. For instance, Californians might assume that their policies will come with insurance coverage for earthquake damage, while Floridians assume that all policies protect them in the event of a flood. This is frequently not the case. Consult with your insurance agent or a Florida public adjuster to go over the details about such regionally specific coverage and whether or not it is included in your standard policy.
Consolidating coverage can save money
One of the most expensive things for an insurance company to do is seek out and create policies for new companies. If you are looking to buy multiple types of insurance, or you have insurance from multiple providers, this is an excellent bargaining chip. Insurers will typically give you bigger discounts if you promise to purchase more than one type of insurance from them exclusively.
Keep in mind, however, that these discounts may or may not be the best way to find insurance. Rather than shopping solely on price, make sure you are getting exactly what you need out of your policy. Consult a public adjuster to guide you through your entire policy, and not just your policy declaration.
If you’d like to learn more about what’s in your homeowners’ insurance policy, call the Florida public adjusters at Advocate Claims at 1-954-369-0573 or contact us online. We serve home and business owners across Florida, including West Palm Beach and Broward counties.