With the recent coverage of Hurricane Dean and other weather-related disasters across the country, now is a good time for homeowners everywhere – but especially those of us lucky enough to call the beach home – to review their homeowners insurance policies. If you are not familiar with your policy coverage, it is important to take a good look before a natural disaster strikes so that you can know what to expect if and when you need to file a claim. Here are 5 things everyone should understand about their homeowners insurance:
- Look for exclusions to coverage. For example, most policies do not cover flood or earthquake damage as a standard item – these coverages must be purchased separately.
- Look for dollar limitations on claims. Even if you are covered for a risk, there may be a limit on how much the insurer will pay. For example, many policies limit the amount paid for stolen jewelry unless items are insured separately.
- Understand replacement cost. If your home is destroyed you’ll receive money to replace it only to the maximum of your coverage, so be sure your insurance is sufficient. This means that if your home is insured for $150,000 and it costs $180,000 to replace it, you’ll only receive $150,000.
- Understand actual cash value. If you choose not to replace your home when it’s destroyed, you’ll receive replacement cost, less depreciation.
- Understand liability. Generally your homeowners insurance covers you for accidents that happen to other people on your property, including medical care, court costs, and awards by the court. However, there is usually an upper limit to the amount of coverage provided. Be sure that it’s sufficient if you have significant assets.
For more information about owning a home and Bradley Beach NJ real estate, please visit my website or call me at 732-775-2774.