When deciding on the appropriate amount of homeowner's insurance coverage you must first determine the projected replacement cost of your home. Then you must choose the coverage amount that suits your needs best. You may want to choose a coverage amount that is comparable to the estimated replacement cost. You may want to consider the benefits of having more than enough coverage as opposed to "just enough" seeing as how it is almost impossible to predict the future and in these changing times what may have never happened in your neighborhood before could be the phenomenon that happens tomorrow.
Your homeowner's insurance coverage policy will be your principal policy in regards to destruction caused to your home. This policy more often than not will provide for damage to your home due to fire, windstorms, hail and explosions as well as vandalism and theft. When your home becomes uninhabitable due to damage covered by your policy your homeowner's insurance will also provide the necessary funds for you and your family to live elsewhere while your home is under construction or repair.
You may want to inquire with your insurance agent as to what losses are not covered by your homeowner's insurance. Some states may grant separate state-sponsored catastrophe funds like the windpool program which covers damage caused by tropical storms, hurricanes, wind and hail. Because this coverage is provided by the state some homeowner's policies may eliminate coverage and refer you to the windpool to obtain protection against wind-related damages. Therefore, when buying a home in high-risk hurricane states such as Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas you may want to consider purchasing windstorm insurance.
Another disaster that generally is not covered in most homeowner's insurance policies is flood insurance. Flood insurance is normally available through the National Flood Insurance Program governed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. This covers destruction caused due to high waters or flash floods. So basically if a flash flood causes water to penetrate your residence flood insurance as opposed to homeowner's insurance will cover your loss. If you don't know whether or not your home is located in a flood risk area you may want to inquire with your insurance agent and adjust your policy accordingly.
The burden of reviewing and updating a homeowner's insurance policy lies on the homeowner. It is important to make sure you do this periodically to ensure that you maintain adequate coverage. Remain conscience of various improvements you make to your home whether you have recently remodeled or simply purchased new furniture or appliances. You must also remain cognizant of inflation and rises in property value. A home that was purchased for $32,000 in 1975 may be worth $150,000 in 2005. It is also wise to consider the year your home was built and the cost of building materials during that time. If your home was built in the 1970s does the building code of the new millennium allow for the same construction standards? Don't get underpaid in the event of a loss because you underestimated the value of your home.
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