How Much Home Insurance Is Enough
The cost to rebuild your home is its replacement value. This can be very different from the estimated market value or actual purchase price. In most cases, it costs more to rebuild the home you own than to buy a new one.
Illinois – Be Sure You Have Enough Homeowners Insurance
Here are some steps you can take to reduce the danger of being seriously underinsured:
- Read your policy. Certain property, such as jewelry, and certain perils, such as earthquake or flood, is better insured separately. Knowing what is covered and for how much will help you insure properly. If there is anything in your policy you don’t understand, contact Held Insurance Agency at 847.264.4644 and ask for an explanation.
- Review. At each annual renewal of your policy, you receive a new policy declarations page showing limits of coverage and optional coverages. Review this information. If you do any significant remodeling or add a family room, extra bedroom or bathroom, etc., tell us about these changes so your coverage limits can be adjusted to cover the improvement.
- Consider carefully whether your policy provides all the protection you need. Does it provide coverage for extra costs resulting from building code changes? Does it automatically increase coverage limits annually to keep pace with inflation? Does it provide additional funds if the cost of rebuilding your home exceeds the policy limits?
- Call Held Insurance Agency. If you have questions or concerns about the limits in your policy, ask us to show you how those amounts were calculated. This will also allow you to make us aware of any overlooked information.
Make sure you know:
- Will your insurance company stand behind agreed-upon repairs after a claim? Some companies are willing to put this guarantee in writing.
- Does your policy include replacement cost coverage for contents (clothing, furniture, appliances, and other personal property inside your home)? If not, you can add it by endorsement. The cost is small, and the protection is valuable. Replacement Cost Coverage pays for losses to your possessions at the cost of brand-new items. Without this option, a covered loss to your possessions would be depreciated by their age and condition, reducing the size of your claim settlement.
If you have an art collection, antique furniture, jewelry, or other valuable possessions, talk to your agent about supplemental coverages, such as fine arts or scheduled property endorsements, to adequately protect your investment in these items. The cost is modest for the extra protection, and often the deductible is waived.
Consider whether you should have more coverage for personal property (contents) than your policy provides. Personal property coverage is usually 70% of the coverage limit for the structure. Your limit may be lower than 70%. Supplemental protection is available for a small additional premium.
Inventory your home. Prepare an inventory of personal property items, update it periodically, and keep it in a safe place outside your home, such as a safe deposit box at your bank. It will save you hours trying to list everything damaged or destroyed if you need to make a claim. It will also help ensure you don’t forget some items. 847.264.4644 can advise you on ways to simplify the job of preparing a personal property inventory such as videotaping each room with descriptive information on the soundtrack.
Besides making sure you have enough protection to cover possible damage to your own home and contents, you should also evaluate your exposure to liability risks. These result from damage to the property of another, or injury to a person, not a member of your household, for which you can be responsible.
In recent years it’s become common for homeowners to be sued for injuries or damages to others, even when there is no evidence of negligence by the homeowner. The reality today is if you have any appreciable assets, you are exposed to the risk of being sued. Even if you ultimately prevail in court, your legal fees and the months or years of worry and uncertainty can be a terrible burden on you and your family.
The Personal Liability coverage provided by your Homeowners Policy usually provides a limit of $100,000 or $300,000. We recommend increasing this protection with a personal umbrella policy. Not only will it increase your personal liability, but also your auto liability. Limits are available from $1 million to $10 million and beyond. The cost of this coverage is usually very reasonable.
Keep in mind that Illinois mortgage companies or homeowners associations can require certain minimum levels of coverage. The right coverage for you is unique – talk to Held Insurance Agency today to find out how to get the best price and value on home insurance for you.
Illinois – How much home insurance is right for you?
Based in Mount Prospect, Illinois – Held Insurance Agency understands the home insurance needs of our customers. We’ll work with you to estimate the replacement cost for your home and to adjust your policy limits from time to time as needed.
You must provide us with accurate, updated information about your home and its contents. If your dwelling limit accurately reflects your home’s true replacement cost, some companies will pay more than the limit if a covered loss is greater than the limit on your policy.
Once a review of your home and possessions indicates you are properly insured, it’s a good idea to reexamine your coverages and limits from time to time, especially whenever you make additions or improvements. Held Insurance Agency can help you re-evaluate your insurance needs, just give us a call at 847.264.4644 to speak with one of our agents.
Think Renter’s Insurance is Only for Your “Stuff”? Think Again!
Clients often think they don’t need renters insurance in Illinois — “Nothing I have is worth that much,” they’ll say, or “I don’t have a lot of stuff.”
That’s how most people think of renter’s coverage: protection for stuff, and nothing more. After all, it’s inexpensive and it doesn’t even cover the structure itself. So how important can it be, especially if you don’t think you have anything valuable to protect?
Plenty important, because you have more to protect than you realize. You just have to stop thinking only about “stuff.”
Here are three key financial protections a renters policy provides:
Loss of use coverage. What would you do if a fire or other issue forced you out of your home? You’d have to find a temporary place to stay, maybe even for months — which might cost you more than your normal rent. Loss of use helps cover that and other additional expenses.
Personal liability protection. If someone trips and injures themselves in your unit, they could sue you. If your dog bites one of your guests, they might file suit, too. Yes, lawsuits happen — even among friends. Renter’s insurance can help cover legal expenses and even judgments against you. (Some dog breeds may disqualify you from coverage, so be sure to inform your agent of all dogs in the household.)
Personal property coverage. Wait, doesn’t this mean your stuff? Well, yes. But really, this coverage protects your finances. Even if you don’t think you have anything valuable, take a minute and mentally add up everything you own (note that if you do have any high-value items, such as jewelry or heirlooms, you may need additional coverage). Now imagine how much it would cost to replace it all. It’s probably a higher number than you thought — and that’s why renters insurance is so important.
Contact Us to learn more. Held Insurance Agency – Insurance Simplified. Our office is located in Mount Prospect, Illinois. Serving the insurance needs of Illinois, Wisconsin, and Arizona.
Reposted with permission from the original author, Safeco Insurance®.