For most people, your home is the largest financial investment you’ll ever make. Buying is a huge financial commitment. Your home is more than just an asset gaining value. It’s also where you raise kids, make memories, and build a future for yourself and your family.
Homeowner’s insurance seems like a far cry from the nostalgic feelings of Christmas holidays or family parties in the backyard. Most people think insurance is unappealing, a necessary evil that requires us to imagine the worst when we’d rather believe only good things will happen. It’s little wonder that people give very little thought to their insurance beyond choosing a policy that will satisfy the lender when they buy a new home.
There’s much more to your homeowner’s insurance than a vague or expensive nuisance. When you understand the realities of insurance, you can make better decisions to protect your home and your family.
You Get What You Pay For
Like most things, you get what you pay for in insurance. Choose the cheapest policy with the highest deductible, and you’ll pay more out of pocket when you make a claim. Sometimes a less expensive policy means you have less help during the claims process or support after a major catastrophe.
It’s important to consider cost when choosing an insurance policy but don’t short-change yourself and your home to save a few dollars per month. Weigh what the policies offer and choose one that offers the most coverage for the money you pay. A higher deductible will lower your premiums but make sure you choose an amount you can feasibly pay if you need to make a claim.
In the lead-up to getting to the closing table, all you really want is to sign the documents and get your keys. Some people use this as a reason to make quick choices about their insurance coverage instead of shopping around. Anytime you need to select a new policy - because you’re buying a home or because you want a lower rate - it pays to compare prices and policies. Not all insurance companies or policies are the same.
Both independent agencies and the bigger names in insurance have their benefits. An independent insurance agent can pull quotes from several insurance companies. This gives you more options. A large company may have more flexibility in the type of policy they write. Look for an agent you can develop a working relationship with so you know exactly who to call when you have a question or a claim.
Hurricane and Flood Insurance
Newer homeowners are often surprised to find out that hurricane and flood insurance are separate from their standard policy. Hurricane coverage is typically listed in your homeowner’s insurance but has it’s own separate deductible. Flood insurance is purchased separately. While flood insurance currently operates through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), your local insurance agent can help you select and buy a policy.
Don’t let yourself be fooled by calm hurricane seasons or lack of major local flooding. This is Naples. We’re at risk of a hurricane for at least six months out of the year, and flooding can happen anytime, whether you’re in a high risk flood zone or not. You should still make sure you’ve got an affordable policy but don’t reject coverage completely. It only takes one big storm to cause a lot of damage.
Life is unpredictable. An accident, storm, or theft can come out of anywhere. You’ll never be completely prepared for it. With the right homeowner’s insurance policy, you’ll be in a better position to benefit from a claim and rebuild or repair if necessary. Talk to your insurance agent about your insurance coverage.
I’m not an insurance expert, but I do know real estate. Are you ready to buy or sell? Let’s talk!