Friday, May 25, 2012

Are you clear on your home owner's insurance?

Hi again! I hope you find this information helpful and clear. I am not an insurance specialist but I am sharing this because it involves practicing stewardship. As a steward, we are responsible for understanding any policies we have in place. If for some reason, you are not clear please take the time to sit down with your insurance agent and have them go through your policy thoroughly. It is worth your time and attention.

In the meantime, here are a few points to consider.

* All insurance policies (or copies) should be kept in a fire proof and water proof safe. This can prevent damage.

* Are you clear on all deductible amounts?

* Are you clear on how and when to make claims?

* Is your insurance company accessible during non-business hours? Can you speak with a person and not a recording?

* In terms of your home owners insurance, you should have documentation for all antiques, original paintings and rare collectibles such as coins, stamps, etc. They should also be kept in a fire/water proof safe if not in a safe deposit box.

* Take pictures of everything in your house and pictures of your house itself with your camera or cell phone. If you can also video tape all rooms in your home to include the floors and ceilings. This can help go a long way in documenting what you have and helping you remember what you have. Please note: keep your camera, video recorder or cell phone in a safe deposit box in the event of fire or theft. This way your documentation and records will be safe.

* Remember that the value of a thing will decrease over time. For example, if you purchased a stainless steel side by side refrigerator for $1,500.00 five years ago, the value for it today will be lower. This means your insurance company most likely will only pay what it's worth today. This is something to ask your agent about.

* Does your insurance cover natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods or hurricanes? Last year in the DMV area we experienced an earthquake in August, followed by a hurricane in September. (DMV= D.C., Maryland and Virginia) If you do have coverage, check your deductible.

* Does your home owner's insurance cover you if you are visiting or vacationing in another state or in another country in case of theft or natural disaster? 

* In the event that you ever need to make a claim due to fire or any damage to your home, most likely a claim adjuster will be on the scene. A public adjuster can be beneficial for the policy holder when negotiating a settlement with insurance company. Please note: a claim adjuster investigates the insurance claim by looking at the property, speaking with witnesses and police, looking at hospital records, along with other duties they determine the amount of money to cover damages and repairs. Keep in mind that some adjusters work on behalf of the insurance company.

These are just a few points for consideration. Again speak with your agent to make sure you are getting the best bang for your buck! Know what you have in terms of coverage. Make sure to take your pictures or video and keep them safe in a deposit box and keep copies of all insurance policies in a fire/water proof safe.

Remember: "True empowerment comes through stewardship!"

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