Your homeowners' insurance covers your biggest investment. Plus, the liability insurance that comes with it protects the rest of your assets. But most people don't think about insurance until they have a loss and if they don't have enough coverage, by then it's too late.
The right time to think about insurance is once a year, every year. Meet with your insurance agent and review the Coverage Limits page of your policy. This lists the maximum amount the insurer will pay under each type of coverage.
1. Building/Dwelling Coverage. This is the maximum you will receive to completely replace your home--structure, roof, doors, walls, windows, kitchen, bathrooms, heating and cooling systems-everything. Take the cost per square foot for new construction in your area and multiply that by the square footage of your home to arrive at the coverage you need. Ask your insurance agent if you should also have Extended Replacement Coverage and Building Ordinance Upgrade coverage. The value of your land usually doesn't require insurance.
2. Personal Property Coverage. This insures everything in your home--clothes, furniture, electronics, flatware, small appliances, etc. You should have enough coverage to replace it all in the event of a total loss. Special items like good jewelry, artwork, coin collections, etc., might have to be insured on a separate rider to get their full value in the event of a loss.
3. Liability Coverage. Homeowners' insurance normally includes liability protection if someone is injured on your property. The usual coverage is $100,000 or $300,000, which is enough if your net worth is less than that. If your assets are larger, ask about an Umbrella policy to take your coverage to $1 million or more. It won't cost that much more for complete peace of mind.
4. Find out what isn't covered. Things like earthquakes, floods, other special occurrences and business activities are usually not covered in a standard homeowners' policy. Ask your agent if it makes sense to get separate coverage if available.
5. Consider raising your deductibles. In the event of a loss, the deductible is the amount you pay first, out of pocket, before the insurance covers the rest, up to your policy limit. Raising your deductible will lower your premium, but it requires you to pay more if you have a loss.
Taken from the Home and Wealth Newsletter from Kris Tripp
Author:Brandi Rademacher Phone: 253-224-6663 Dated: August 22nd 2011 Views: 4,395 About Brandi: Brandi Rademacher with RE/MAX Realty South is the Professional Realtor who other Realtors come to fo...
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Brandi Rademacher with RE/MAX Realty South is the Professional Realtor who other Realtors come to for advice. With the experience of hundreds of successful transactions to her name, she has the knowledge and experience to make even the most difficult transactions appear to her clients as typical.
Brandi has been a Realtor since 2004, and has since expanded her expertise by successfully completing her ABR (Accredited Buyers Representative), ASR (Accredited Seller Representative), CDPE (Certified Distressed Property Expert) and E-PRO. These designations mean that Brandi can expertly represent both Buyers and Sellers. The CDPE designation means Brandi is one of a select few in the state who has trained extensively to u nderstand the options, solutions and effective methods for dealing with homeowners dealing with hardships, short sales, and foreclosures.
Brandi has a full team of professionals to serve all her clients needs in both residential and commercial transactions. She has an office manager, financial lender, property inspector, and a virtual assistant, all of who provide the client with a “one stop shopping” experience.
“My team and I are responsible for our clients and their needs. They place a huge trust in my team, so I strive diligently for perfection on a daily basis”.
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" Brandi spent an entire Saturday running my husband (who had just flown in for a couple days from Connecticut) all around to different towns near and far from the Olympia area. She was very friendly and professional in every interaction we have had, and she always looked out for our best interests. I believe she sincerely wanted to help us find the perfect house to suit our preferences. In addition, she drove to several homes that we were interested in and made videos so that we could get a clear idea of what the houses and neighborhoods were like. I wholeheartedly recommend working with Brandi! Best experience we've ever had with a realtor, hands down. "