Home insurance is a way to protect yourself and your family from disasters that affect your home or its contents. According to United Policyholders, many homeowners and renters are underinsured and don't discover that until after disaster strikes. When you purchase home insurance, it is vital that you understand everything about your policy and that you get the best policy you can afford.
Each home insurance policy will list either the situations that are covered by the policy or the exclusions that are not covered by the policy. Most policies cover 11 basic situations: theft, vandalism, smoke, vehicular, wind and hail, explosions, aircraft, fire and lightning, volcanic eruptions, and riots or civil unrest. Some policies can also cover things such as snow, sleet and ice damage, water damage, damages caused by falling objects, and electrical damages. In addition to replacing damaged or destroyed items, your policy should also include Additional Living Expenses to help you cover the cost of living while rebuilding your home.
When you purchase home insurance, you must consider the cost of replacing all of the items in your home. If you are a homeowner, this is in addition to the cost of rebuilding your home. You should choose the maximum amount of coverage you can afford with the lowest deductible possible to ensure you have the best coverage.
If you own pets, you should let your insurance agent know. Some pets, especially certain breeds of dogs, may require additional policy coverage to protect you and your home from liabilities associated with bites and dog attacks. In some communities, laws or ordinances stipulate the amount of additional coverage necessary. Additionally, some "big ticket" items, such as expensive jewelry or paintings, will need to be declared on the home insurance policy or will require a separate policy. If you have any big-ticket items, photograph or videotape them and keep a list of models and serial numbers to speed up the replacement process. Put the pictures, tapes, and list somewhere that will be safe if you have a home disaster. A safe deposit box or a relative's house are usually good places unless they are in the path of imminent destruction.
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