Let’s face it; home insurance is something we would all rather never have to think about. No one likes going through home insurance plans because it’s boring, it’s a ton of paperwork, it costs you money and it forces you to think about the worst case scenario. No one wants to picture their home going up in flames or being completely destroyed in a tornado. Because of this, we usually rely on a home insurance agent to do the dirty work. However, we still need to be active in the process. Here are some essential questions to ask your home insurance agent before signing the final papers:
1.) What will it cost me? There’s no point for paying so much for insurance that you end up not being able to afford the home in the first place. You’ll also want to compare prices and policies with different companies. Each company charges differently depending on the coverage you choose.
2.) What if I’m sued? This would be the upper limits of your liability coverage. If you’re ever sued (someone slips on ice on your front step, a worker injures themselves falling off your roof), you’ll want to know you have a high number your insurance company will pay out. Medical bills are not cheap and having to pay them out of pocket could easily put you into bankruptcy.
3.) What events are excluded from my coverage? Just as many people find out every year, hurricane coverage often does not include flood damage to homes. The two are often separate (unethically separate, if you ask us), so you need to know ahead of time exactly what you’re coverage entails. Earthquakes, for example, are not typically covered. If you live in a high risk earthquake area, you might want to pay a little extra to make sure you can rebuild your home should an earthquake tear it down.
4.) What about when I’m away from home? There are many policies that protect your items from being lost or stolen when you aren’t home. Even your children or your pets can be protected. If you’re a frequent traveler, you might want to look into some of these coverage options.
5.) How long does it take to pay a claim? Not how long do they think it will take; get the actual numbers. You want to know the average amount of time it took between when someone filed a claim to when the actually received their insurance money. Search their records through the Better Business Bureau and check to see if there have been any complaints lodged against the company as well. You want to choose a company with a strong reputation for being there when their clients need them most.