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6 Useful Tips for Getting Home Insurance

Categories: Homeowners
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Published on: February 17, 2014

Both homeowners and renters need insurance to protect themselves, their loved ones and their belongings. The main difference between homeowners and renters insurance is that homeowners covers your home’s physical structure and your property, while renters covers only your property. However, whichever type of policy you buy should also include liability coverage to protect you against legal and medical fees that may result from a third party bodily injury or property damage that occurs on your property or because of your actions.

When selecting coverage, consider the following tips that you may not have previously known:

  1. You must choose whether you want coverage for replacement value or actual cash value. Replacement value covers the costs of repairing your home with materials of similar quality without factoring in depreciation. Actual cash value covers the costs or repairing your home after factoring in depreciation.
  2. Floods and earthquakes are generally excluded from basic policies, so ask your agent about adding those specific coverages if you live in an area prone to those types of natural disasters.
  3. High-dollar valuables—fine art, jewelry, a collection of china etc.—may have limited coverage under a basic policy. Talk to your agent about adding a rider to your policy to cover the higher value of such items.
  4. Your policy will need to be updated after large purchases or renovations to ensure proper coverage for the full value of your home and possessions.
  5. If you own a trampoline, pool or swing set, you should consider additional liability coverage to meet the higher risk.
  6. Unrelated roommates should purchase their own renters policies to protect their own belongings.

Whether you’re a home owner or renter, it’s recommended that you take a home inventory, which documents your possessions and their worth. Make a list of every valuable item you own, note the price, attach receipts for high-dollar items and take photos. This helps streamline the claims process if a covered event damages or destroys your property. Make sure you store this list in a safety deposit box and/or cloud drive so it’s secure in the event that your home is completely destroyed.

Learn more about protecting everyone and everything you love. Call Mitchell & Mitchell Insurance Agency at (415) 883-2525 for more information on Novato home insurance.

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