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Every homeowner will likely experience a loss or some property damage at some point.  Severe weather exists in almost every part of the country whether its tornado alley or a coastal area prone to hurricane and wind damage we all need to be prepared.  How can you protect yourself against financial ruin?  How can you compare the many different homeowners insurance options and coverages that exist out there?

You can start by getting a home insurance quote from a local indie-agent.  Your local agent knows your area best and can sell you a policy from a company that also knows your area.  Your independent indie-agent will also be there to answer questions as you continue to build and modify your dream home.  You may find you will need different levels of personal property coverage or liability as you go through life and your family grows.

Recent studies have shown over 50% of homeowners do not understand their homeowners insurance coverage and over two thirds of homeowners are underinsured.  You need to be proactive in assessing how much property damage coverage you need as well as which deductible makes sense for your household.  We recommend you read over your policies “exclusions” carefully and ask a local agent to explain them.  A local independent agent can explain these homeowners insurance options using real world experience to illustrate them.

Increasing your liability coverage with an umbrella policy is very cost effective and will provide an additional million dollars of liability over your home and car insurance policies.  Finally, we recommend you check that you have “replacement cost” on your dwelling coverage as well as replacement cost on contents (personal property) coverage.

Its difficult to consider how much personal property we actually have in our household.  When determining what your replacement cost on personal contents should be in your homeowners policy you must compile a list.  We suggest starting with your largest personal items like Appliances, Collectables and Furniture then move down to clothing etc.  It is also a good idea to use your smartphone; go around your home and shoot a video of your belongings.  This can be much more valuable after a loss that you might think.  A fire could damage most of your personal property in one event, having a record will make the claim process go more smoothly.

Many homeowners assume all their belongings will be covered but you must in fact have the proper limit and see that you carry necessary insurance options like “Replacement Cost of Personal Property” rider so your personal contents are not depreciated at the time of a claim.  Don’t wait for a loss to occur before you find out you didn’t carry enough coverage.

Homeowners Insurance policies cover you for potential loss resulting from risks such as vandalism or theft, wind hail, fire and also your personal liability.  Some natural disasters such as earthquake and flood are not covered under homeowners policies, you must purchased separate specialized policies for these risks.

While your home policy will not cover acts of violence or intentional damage the home liability coverage will cover you if someone is injured on your premises and you are found negligent.  Other typical liability situations would include dog bites or injuries caused to visitors of your home like an icy sidewalk.

If someone files a liability claim against you, your homeowners insurance can pay for property repairs, medical or funeral costs or even a lawsuit if the injured party chooses to launch a legal process under liability coverage.  Allow an independent agent to assess your possible risk and deductible option in order to make sure you have adequate coverage.  You may find you have been under insured for years or that by increasing your deductible you could have been saving money.  Often times liability is least expensive homeowners insurance coverage option.

Now that you know the many ins and outs of homeowners insurance coverages, you can see why it is so important to work with an insurance agent who can answer all of your questions.  A local indie-agent can compare policies and insurance options for you from several insurance companies, and arm you with all of the information you need to make an informed decision.  When it comes time to file a claim after a loss, your independent agent will assist you with the claims process so you can recover as quickly as possible.

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Compare prices on homeowners insurance