7 tips every homeowner needs to know about #HomeInsurance

First time owning a home? Here are some helpful tips to make you a bit more comfortable with your policy:

  1. What does it cover? Familiarize yourself with your policy! It seems like an obvious first step, but it may surprise you that not all insurance policies are created equal. This is a time that you really will want to invest in reading the fine print to make sure your needs are met. Most home insurance policies will cover for damage to your home caused by fire, theft, vandalism, or storms. Policies may also cover the cost of someone getting injured while at your home. If you are displaced from your home after an event that is covered by insurance, like a house fire, your insurance will also cover to have you set up at a hotel while your home is in repair.
  2. What doesn’t it cover? Typically, standard policies have exclusions like earthquakes, power outages, defective maintenance, among others. If flooding is a concern in the area that you live you may want to pay extra attention to this aspect. Typically flooding and water damage are only covered in certain conditions. For example, water from a pipe bursting may be covered, but water from a backed-up sewer may not be. Keep a Record. When disaster strikes make sure you are taking note of everything.
  3. Don’t wait to file a claim! Report your claims as soon as you possibly can. Some claims are particularly time sensitive like water damage that may cause mold growth and additional repairs. If disaster strikes you want to have assistance immediately.
  4. How can you lower your rates? This is a key factor that can often be overlooked but save you a lot of money. Having working smoke detectors and a security system, can save you money on your policy. Any type of insurance always assesses the companies risk when taking you on as their client. Consider grouping your home/auto/life insurance to get a lower rate. Your concerns should be addressed in a way that you feel comfortable and cared for. Insurance can bring peace of mind to know that when disaster strikes, you know someone is there to have your back.
  5. Keep a record! In addition to saving receipts, contracts and appraisals, document phone calls by writing down who you spoke to and when. And be sure to stow it in a secure place! Don’t want to invest in a safe? Consider keeping digital copies online using a program like Dropbox.
  6. You should shop around. The process of choosing your insurance company can be overwhelming, but it is certainly time well spent. If you were to endure any of these hardships, you would want to make sure you are with a reputable company and know that they would have your back. Talk to your neighbors, friends, and family to get suggestions or advice on who they’ve worked with and had a good experience. I have seen both sides of this coin where family and friends have either been thrilled with the care they received or frustrated and upset because they have been left wanting for help and reassurance from their insurance agency.
  7. Save by bundling: One way to save money is to bundle your homeowner’s insurance with other policies that you already own. Talk to an HGA Insurance advisor about all of your policies to find out how bundling can work for you!

 

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tgarstad

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