Most homeowner’s don’t think about this because they pay premiums each year, but what if your home was damaged or destroyed, do you think that you would get the amount that you’re actually insured for?
Many people believe that the answer to this is yes, but it isn’t as black and white as it would seem. A prime example of this is a couple living in a home that got badly burned in December of last year. They lost everything. Their home and their contents were completely irreparable. A Christmas tree fire caused the whole home to go in flames, and it badly burned the husband to the point where he was in a morphine-induced coma for several weeks following.
While the woman’s husband was recuperating in the hospital, she began dealing with their insurance company to get the money that they deserved after losing all of their belongings. The couple paid their insurance premiums to the same company for over 30 years, and all they needed now was the payout.
The couple and the insurance company settled on a claim amount for the loss of the home, but are still disputing how much their contents are worth. Most homeowners would think that they should receive the amount that the insurance company says that they are covered for, but sadly this isn’t always the case.
This couple collected rare items from all over the world, and when the home was destroyed, these valuable items were destroyed with it. The husband stated that the items were insured for about $396,000 but the insurance company is only offering them a quarter of that amount.
Many people think that they are covered for the full amount on their policy, not realizing that certain items have dollar amount limits. It is very important to be insured for contents if you want to be reimbursed for them in the end, but every policy has limits for different items. A representative with a local insurance company states that each company may word things differently. For that reason, it is important to call your insurance agent and figure out just what you’ll receive in the event of a disaster.
Unfortunately, most people aren’t aware of discrepancies in their policies until it is too late. Home insurance is different than any other type of insurance. Unlike car insurance, the value of the home will appreciate rather than depreciate.
For example, if you started a policy years ago, it may not be accurate to all of the items you have collected over the years. If you do by chance make a claim and aren’t satisfied with what the insurance company is offering, there are a couple of places that you can go for help including your insurance company’s ombudsman or general insurance ombudservice.
Here are 12 questions that you should ask when talking to your insurance carrier:
What does my policy cover?
Is there a specific kind of insurance for the home that I live in?
Are there risks involved with my home for which I cannot purchase insurance?
Can I buy insurance for disasters like earthquake, sewer backup, or flood that isn’t included in my homeowner’s policy?
What could happen to my property if I don’t purchase further policies?
What are some items that might require further insurance?
What is my deductible? How does this affect the price of my home insurance?
Will I receive a discount?
What is the difference between replacement cost and actual cash value?
Is the business I run out of my home covered by my home insurance policy?
Should I make a claim for every single loss whether it is large or small?
What kind of liability coverage do I maintain? How much should I purchase?