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5 Tips for Obtaining Home Insurance

By Chris Porter | November 1, 2017

You need home insurance in the event of destruction or serious damage to your home. Insurance will cover replacement costs preventing a financial crisis in your life. Keep your home insurance current by reporting upgrades and material changes to the insurer.

While there are many home insurers, not all offer the best covers or professional services. For the best  insurance for your home or condo, you should keep the following in mind:

  1. Find a professional insurance representative

While an insurance broker works with multiple insurance companies, insurance agents work with a single insurer. You can choose either for information about premiums, application coverage, discounts and any personal property requirements. Through these professionals, you will also learn about the contents of the insurance policy and the percentage of the total home value insured. You’ll also get information on how to calculate home insurance premiums.

  1. Identify what the insurance covers

Coverage varies from one insurer to the other. So, research is important; you cannot rush into signing the documents before making sure the cover meets your needs. In most cases, the insurance coverage covers the contents of the home, dwelling and your personal liability.

It also covers dependents under 18 or the ones enrolled and attending college or university. Notify your insurance representative if you live with a friend or a relative, or renting out part of the space.

  1. Beware of types of insurance available

There are comprehensive insurance covers, named/basic perils, broad and no-frills home insurance policies. Personal liability covers are also available.

Comprehensive covers are inclusive insurance covers taking care of the entire building and the contents. Uninsurable perils and optional coverage like sewer backup aren’t included.

Basic perils covers specific items, and you cover the remaining financial risk and associated losses.

Broad home insurance offers a comprehensive coverage on the big-ticket items like the building and the named perils.

No Frills is the insurance coverage offered to buildings that do not meet normal insurance standards. It applies to some buildings with physical problems.

Personal Liability coverage offers financial protection in case of property damage caused to others unintentionally. If a visitor slips and you are found to negligent, then this cover will protect you.

  1. Meet your contractual obligations

The law requires you to take insurance for your home. Banks will also need to see proof of home insurance before approving your home loan application. So, you should report every detail about the house to the insurer.

Let the insurance representative know when you renovate the house, set up a home-based business, install a pool, purchase expensive jewelry or lease out part of your home. Informing the insurer about such details speeds up the claim process after a loss.

  1. Insure Your home and the contents in it

If you cannot afford to replace everything in your home following unforeseen events, you should get home insurance. You have to insure rebuilding costs and review your home inventory annually when renewing your home insurance policy.

You also need to confirm an accurate figure for the replacement value taking into account the severe weather changes that have been on the rise.

If you have high-value art or jewelry, it is important to consider getting a separate endorsement for them.

Final Thoughts

Noting that partial loss from a break in can cause financial hardships, you should have home insurance to protect you from the financial and emotional hardships.

"Chris Porteous has significant experience in the financial markets with stints at Goldman Sachs, UBS Securities and DBRS. At DBRS, Chris extensively covered the Mortgage Backed Securities market, Covered Bonds and regulatory changes involved in the real estate markets. Chris currently runs a personal Real Estate Investment Trust with over 15 properties located in South Florida."
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