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Homeowner Insurance Checklist: Protecting Your Home and Investment

By January 30, 2024May 31st, 2024No Comments

Your home is more than just a place to live; it’s a valuable investment worth safeguarding. Homeowner insurance offers crucial protection against unexpected events, but understanding the nuances of your policy is essential. In this comprehensive coverage checklist, we’ll discuss key aspects to help you make informed decisions.

  1. Dwelling Coverage: Dwelling coverage forms the foundation of your homeowner insurance policy. It should encompass the cost of rebuilding your home if it’s damaged or destroyed by covered perils like fire, storms, or vandalism. Ensure the coverage amount is sufficient to reconstruct your home at current construction costs. If available, ask for Guaranteed Replacement and if this is not available then make sure you include Extended Dwelling Coverage which will help protect from rapid inflation within the construction industry which is not uncommon after catastrophes. Another important option to include, especially for older homes, is Building and Ordinance coverage which will help cover additional costs for bringing your home into compliance with local building codes which change year to year.
  2. Personal Property Coverage: Protect your possessions with personal property coverage, which includes furniture, electronics, clothing, and other personal items. Conduct a thorough inventory of your belongings and estimate their value to determine the appropriate coverage limit. Unless it is unavailable, ensure you have Replacement Cost evaluation added to your Personal Property. This will allow you to replace your contents at today’s prices without depreciation being applied.
  3. Liability Protection: Liability coverage safeguards you against legal expenses and claims if someone is injured on your property or if you accidentally damage someone else’s property. It’s a vital component of any homeowner policy. While standard limits often hover around $100,000, consider higher limits for enhanced peace of mind.
  4. Water & Sewer Backup Coverage: Water and sewer backups can result in substantial damage to your home. Ensure your policy includes coverage for these incidents, as it’s not always part of standard homeowner insurance. Verify the coverage limits and be aware of any exclusions.
  5. Additional Living Expenses (ALE) Coverage: If your home becomes uninhabitable due to covered damage, ALE coverage will cover your temporary living expenses which are above your usual costs, including accommodation and meals. Ensure your policy provides adequate ALE coverage to maintain your standard of living during the rebuilding process.
  6. Other Structures Coverage: For additional structures on your property which are detached from your home, such as a garage or shed, confirm that they’re covered under your homeowner insurance policy. Coverage may vary, so understand how it applies to your specific situation.
  7. Special Coverage for High-Value Items: Consider adding scheduled personal property coverage if you own valuable items like fine art, jewelry, or collectibles. This ensures proper protection for these assets, which otherwise may be limited by specific policy sub-limits or other restrictions.
  8. Roof Replacement Evaluation: Roof damage is a common homeowner insurance claim. Familiarize yourself with how your policy evaluates roof replacement. Some policies use actual cash value (ACV), accounting for depreciation, while others offer full replacement cost coverage. Opt for the latter if possible, as it guarantees your roof will be replaced with similar materials at current market prices.
  9. Flood and Earthquake Insurance: Standard homeowner policies generally exclude coverage for flood and earthquake damage. Depending on your location, separate policies may be necessary to protect against these specific perils.
  10. Deductibles: Balance your budget when selecting the deductible for your policy. Deductibles may also vary by cause of loss, as well as percentage of dwelling versus flat dollar. A higher deductible can lower premiums but ensure it’s affordable in the event of a claim.
  11. Discounts and Bundling Options: Explore available discounts, such as bundling your homeowner and auto insurance policies, safety features and updates to your home, to potentially enjoy significant savings.

Safeguarding your home with the right homeowner insurance policy is an essential aspect of responsible homeownership. At LG Insurance Group, we’re dedicated to assisting you in making well-informed decisions. Utilize this checklist as a reference when reviewing your current policy or shopping for a new one. Our team is here to guide you in finding the ideal coverage to suit your needs and budget.

Contact us today to discuss your homeowner insurance options. Your peace of mind is our top priority.