(PRWEB) February 10, 2012
If you don’t know all the terms of your homeowner’s insurance coverage, you’re not alone. But there’s no safety in that particular number. And you don’t want to find out that you’re not covered when you need it most.
“Don’t wait for a damage claim to call your insurance agent. You need to have a better relationship than that,” says Angie Hicks, founder of Angie’s List, the nation’s leading provider of consumer reviews on local contractors and service companies.
A recent Angie’s List poll showed that nearly a third of respondents haven’t reviewed their policies with their insurance agent for more than two years. But you should have at least an annual conversation, Hicks said.
“Life moves fast, and this is one of those things that’s so easy to ignore,” Hicks said. “But you could easily be under- or over-insured and not realize it for years.”
Some homeowners think the housing crisis that has affected their home value has had a similar affect on their insurance coverage needs.
“Unfortunately, replacing your home could actually cost you more these days,” Hicks said. “This is no time to reduce your coverage. Materials and building costs aren’t going down and insurance premiums are based on replacement cost.”
Some homeowners in Joplin learned that the hard way last year when tornadoes came through. Insurance experts in Missouri said many homes there were underinsured because policies hadn’t been updated for years. In addition to the replacement costs for those homes, consumers had to deal with demolition, hauling and living expenses in the interim.
Another thing homeowners need to consider is whether they need special riders. Common riders include those that cover jewelry, art and special items. But riders are also available for injuries related to certain breeds of dogs – pit bulls or Rottweilers for example. Other areas of potential liability include swimming pools and other “attractive nuisances” that could bring unwanted issues to your door.
3 Reasons for a Homeowners Insurance Update:
- Major renovations that will affect your home’s value;
- Inheritance or gifting of valuable items like jewelry or furniture;
- Boat or other large purchase or sale; and
- Some pet additions to the family.
Angie’s List Tips to get the best insurance deal:
- Improve your home’s safety: Severe weather, higher rebuilding costs and an increase in claims can all affect the price of your premium. Some companies offer discounts for installing storm shutters, adding a security system, updating wiring, or your home’s proximity to a fire station.
- Bundle up: Many companies will reduce your rates if you purchase additional policies, such as auto or life, through them.
- Raise your deductible: Just remember if you do have a claim, you are going to have to pay more out of pocket then you would have before.
- Shop around: Like any other service, shop around for homeowner’s insurance rates. You can comparison shop online with just a click of a mouse. Comparing policy coverage options with a few companies will give you the opportunity to find the best policy at the best price.
Angie’s List collects consumer reviews and helps connect consumers with the best local service providers in areas from home improvement to health care. More than 1 million households across the U.S. and Canada subscribe to and rely on Angie’s List to help them make the best hiring decisions in more than 550 service categories. Members get unlimited access to local ratings via Internet or phone, exclusive discounts, the Angie's List Magazine and help from the Angie’s List complaint resolution service. For the latest consumer news, visit the Angie’s List news center.