Six Insurance Facts To Know
Most homeowners know the basics about their home insurance. Deductibles, premiums and exclusions are common insurance concepts, and your insurance agent should inform you about your policy’s specifics. Yet, you might be surprised at what you may not know. Consider these facts that might not be on your radar:
Water damage is one of the most frequent causes of claims.
A burst pipe. A worn-out washing machine hose. Water damage creates soggy messes more often than you might think, and damage is often preventable. Even an inch of water can cause costly repairs, so take preventive steps.
Not all water damage is covered.
As a general rule of thumb, water from above (like rainwater or a burst pipe upstairs) is usually covered, but water from below (backed-up sewers or ground flooding) generally isn’t. If your neighborhood is prone to floods and earthquakes, consider supplemental coverage.
Some companies have time limits for reporting a claim.
If you have damage to your home and need to file a claim, don’t wait. You may have a time limit on how long it takes to report a claim. When purchasing your policy, be sure to ask your agent about this. If you wait past a 14-day window, for example, you may not be eligible for benefits.
You can help the claims process go smoother.
If you do have to file a claim, take these steps to make the process go as smooth as possible:
- Call your agent or insurance carrier right away when you discover damage.
- Protect your property from additional damage. Cover broken windows, turn off water sources or take other necessary steps to prevent further loss.
- Document the damage. Take photos, save damaged property and provide documentation, such as product manuals and receipts if you can.
- If you’re not able to stay in your home, save receipts from additional living expenses.
- Work with your adjuster and an experienced professional to make repairs.
- Before a claim occurs, create a written or video inventory of your home contents.
Flood damage is not covered under typical homeowners policies.
Floods can happen anywhere, in any state. With about 25 percent of all flood claims coming from “minimal risk” areas, it’s a good idea to talk to your agent about a flood policy, purchased through the government’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Flood insurance is available to homeowners and renters, but there is generally a 30-day waiting period for flood coverage to begin after a policy is purchased.
Pet peeves are real.
Some insurance companies may not insure your home if you have a pet breed or exotic animal that may be considered high risk. Again, always check with your agent.
If you have questions about our homes or neighborhoods, please connect with one of our New Home Specialists.