Here are a few important things that every homeowner needs to know about their insurance:
- Keep pace with financial inflation: This is one of the key points of a comprehensive homeowners insurance policy. While your home might have cost $100,000 to build a decade ago, it might cost as much as $200,000 to have it replaced today. When your policy comes up for renewal, talk to your agent to verify that the coverage amounts are still realistic and keeping up with inflation. When you make an improvement to the home, update the valuation.
- Take inventory of your possessions: In order to make a claim, every homeowner has to prove what they owned at the time of a disaster and how much each individual item is worth. Everyone should have a secure list of every valuable item that is in the home. Any documents should be kept together and away from the house. An effective and easy way to document your possessions is with a smartphone. Don't take another selfie—take pictures and videos of your stuff! Start in the living room with the entertainment system, rugs and wall hangings, then go throughout the house and take pictures of what's in the dressers, closets, kitchen and bathroom cabinets, etc. Continue taking pictures until everything has been documented, including the garage, basement and attic. Upload those images to a cloud service.
- Understand the entire claims process: When you sign on for your insurance policy, you are signing a promise of performance under certain circumstances by the company. Have your agent walk you through some claim scenarios. Who do you call? Who will call you back? Ask your agent what claims the agent has seen?
Sharing this with your customers will help them be better prepared, whether you are an insurance agent, carrier, inspection company or another party in the property insurance chain.
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