Homeowners Insurance Ins and Outs - Part II

Posted By David Whitton @ Apr 1st 2011 10:14am In: Salem Oregon Home Ownership

Part I of this article, Homeowners Insurance Ins and Outs - Part I, dealt with the cost of homeowners insurance and covered such areas as deductibles, discounts, and deals. Part II focuses on coverage, both basic and extended and services you should expect from an insurance company.

COVERAGE:

  • houseRebuilding: A common mistake made by owners of Salem OR real estate is to confuse a house's market value with its replacement cost. Your insurance should cover the cost of rebuilding your home, and the value of the land should not be included in calculating that figure. To determine the replacement cost, most insurance companies use software that considers your home's features, and most policies include coverage for up to 125% of the replacement cost.
  • Liability: In these days of unusually high lawsuit awards, Don Griffin, the vice president of Property Casualty Insurers Association of America, recommends buying an "excess liability" or umbrella policy to cover you for one million dollars beyond what is already covered.
  • Personal property: Most policies cover only 50% to 75% of the cost to replace the personal property in your Salem OR real estate. Seriously consider separate endorsements (also called riders or floaters) for some of your valuables such as fine art works, expensive collections (stamps or coins, e.g.), and jewelry. Here is an online property inventory checklist.
  • Living expenses: Make certain your policy contains coverage to defray expenses you incur is you are forced to vacate your property while it is being rebuilt or repaired.
  • Exclusions: Finally, carefully read the exclusions section of your policy to be aware of what is not covered.

SERVICES:

What you should expect from your insurance company is accessibility, a hassle-free claims process, assistance with the inventory of your Salem OR real estate holding, contractor recommendations with workmanship guarantees, and home clean-up after a major loss.

Many companies are now going beyond those basics to make their insurance more attractive to home owners. Some of the features being offered include the following:

  • Liability renewably: The insurer promises not to cancel your policy following a claim.
  • New for old protection: The insurer pays the full cost of replacing your possessions, regardless of age and/or condition.
  • Deductible forgiveness: The insurer waives a portion or all of your deductible for large losses.
  • 100% protection: The insurer pays the full cost to rebuild your Salem OR real estate even if the amount exceeds the limits of your homeowners policy.

Obviously, there are many factors to consider when buying homeowners insurance and much research to be done before making a final decision. In the case of a major loss, however, the time and effort you have spent will prove invaluable!



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David & Dewey Whitton
The Salem Real Estate Group
6444 Fairway Avenue SE
Salem, Oregon 93706

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