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Buying or building a new home is a huge step. It’s something that a lot of people aspire for. Once you finally get the house you’ve worked so hard for, you want to be sure it’s protected. Homeowners insurance policies offer some protection against the unexpected, but what policy is the best for your home?
Here are four questions to ask before deciding on a homeowners insurance policy.
1. How many claims has the home had in the past?
You’ll want to ask the realtor or private seller how many claims are in the house’s history. This gives you an idea as to what kind of repairs have been done. Next, the kind of claims filed will help to determine the kind of coverage that may be necessary. Wind, water, or fire claims can give you an idea of the effects the climate may have on your home in the future. It’s also good to know how much time elapsed between claims and since the last incident so you’re aware of any possible repairs in the near or far future.
2. How much would it cost to rebuild or restore in the case of a total loss?
When you acquire your new home, it’s important to know the value. As you shop for insurance, find out the estimated cost to restore in case of a total loss. Sometimes claiming a total loss will only yield enough for partial restoration. Be sure the coverage is going to take care of most, if not all, of any possible damage.
3. What kind of additional coverage might be necessary?
With the claim history in your knowledge, you can determine if you’ll need any extra coverage with your policy. Flood and earthquake insurance is excluded in general homeowners policies, so if you live in an at-risk area, it’s an important detail to consider.
4. How quickly are claims processed and paid out?
When a disaster or accident occurs, you don’t want the bills to begin to pile up. It’s important to know the time frame your state requires your insurance to pay claims. Each state differs and some don’t require a time limit. Many states require that payments be made 30 days after a settlement is made. Some insurance companies require that you make repairs to avoid further damage before a claim is settled. Learn what the policy requires you to do in the event of a loss and follow all protocol to ensure there are no hangups in the payment process.
Your home is an investment and protecting it is a high priority. Deciding on the best homeowners insurance policy will help keep your home and valuables covered in case of any incident. Asking the right questions will lead you to choose the best policy for you and your family.
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The information in this article was obtained from various sources. This content is offered for educational purposes only and does not represent contractual agreements, nor is it intended to replace manuals or instructions provided by the manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional. The definitions, terms and coverage in a given policy may be different than those suggested here and such policy will be governed by the language contained therein. No warranty or appropriateness for a specific purpose is expressed or implied.