3 Common Home Insurance Mistakes You Should Avoid:
Purchasing home insurance is one of the most important decisions you’ll make as a homeowner. It protects your investment and provides peace of mind in case of unexpected events. However, making mistakes when buying insurance can be costly. Here are three common mistakes to avoid:
Not Understanding Exclusions:
Every home insurance policy has exclusions, and it’s essential to know which types of damage your insurance doesn’t cover. Damages from flooding and earthquakes are typically not covered if you’re not located in a coastal area or near a fault. However, it’s important to note that inland flooding can occur from groundwater, as was the case in New Jersey, New York, and Vermont during Hurricane Irene. Earthquakes can also cause damage to your home even if you don’t live near a fault line. Additionally, most policies don’t cover mold and sewage backup, which often happens after heavy rain. To avoid surprises, make sure to add mold insurance if the home you’re considering is old or in a humid area, and sewage backup coverage for only about $40 per year.
Underinsuring Your Home:
It’s a common mistake to purchase only enough insurance to cover your mortgage. However, this may not be enough to cover rebuilding or replacing your valuables in case of a disaster. Consult with your agent to determine the average rebuilding cost per square foot in your area and ensure your coverage is sufficient.
If your home is only a few years old, you may qualify for replacement coverage for only a few dollars per month, so ask your insurance broker.
Take an inventory of your valuables and consider raising your limit for contents coverage by scheduling an endorsement. One of my favorite tips includes having you take a video walkthrough to inventory your personal items, as most of us do not remember everything we have. Be sure to keep receipts for large purchases.
Setting the Wrong Deductible:
The deductible is the amount you pay toward a claim before insurance pays. It’s crucial to set it at the right level. Setting it too high may have you paying more out-of-pocket, while setting it too low may mean higher premiums each year. Consult with an expert to help you make the best decision.
Don’t let these common mistakes cost you. Protect your investment and your peace of mind by carefully selecting the right insurance coverage for your home. Consult with an expert, read the fine print, and ensure you have the right protection in case of the unexpected
Your Oregon Realtor®