Part I of this article dealt with the cost of homeowners insurance and covered such areas as deductibles, discounts, and deals. Part II focuses on coverage, both basic and extended and services you should expect from an insurance company.
- Rebuilding: A common mistake made by owners of Jersey Shore real estate is to confuse a house’s market value with its replacement cost. Your insurance should cover the cost of rebuilding your home, and the value of the land should not be included in calculating that figure. To determine the replacement cost, most insurance companies use software that considers your home’s features, and most policies include coverage for up to 125% of the replacement cost.
- Liability: In these days of unusually high lawsuit awards, Don Griffin, the vice president of Property Casualty Insurers Association of America, recommends buying an “excess liability” or umbrella policy to cover you for one million dollars beyond what is already covered.
- Personal property: Most policies cover only 50% to 75% of the cost to replace the personal property in your Jersey Shore real estate. Seriously consider separate endorsements (also called riders or floaters) for some of your valuables such as fine art works, expensive collections (stamps or coins, e.g.), and jewelry. Here is an online property inventory checklist.
- Living expenses: Make certain your policy contains coverage to defray expenses you incur is you are forced to vacate your property while it is being rebuilt or repaired.
- Exclusions: Finally, carefully read the exclusions section of your policy to be aware of what is not covered.
What you should expect from your insurance company is accessibility, a hassle-free claims process, assistance with the inventory of your Jersey Shore real estate holding, contractor recommendations with workmanship guarantees, and home clean-up after a major loss.
Many companies are now going beyond those basics to make their insurance more attractive to home owners. Some of the features being offered include the following:
- Liability renewably: The insurer promises not to cancel your policy following a claim.
- New for old protection: The insurer pays the full cost of replacing your possessions, regardless of age and/or condition.
- Deductible forgiveness: The insurer waives a portion or all of your deductible for large losses.
- 100% protection: The insurer pays the full cost to rebuild your Jersey Shore real estate even if the amount exceeds the limits of your homeowners policy.
Obviously, there are many factors to consider when buying homeowners insurance and much research to be done before making a final decision. In the case of a major loss, however, the time and effort you have spent will prove invaluable!
Patrick Parker and his Realty Team are experts in Buyer Brokerage and specialize in representing your best interests, negotiating with your goals in mind and getting you the best possible deal when you buy your next Jersey Shore home.
When representing you as a Seller, they go the extra mile to help you achieve your goals. Patrick and his Team are constantly researching the market and property values so your Jersey Shore real estate is priced effectively from day one. They also make sure the public knows your home is for sale by using innovative advertising and marketing techniques to attract potential buyers.
For more information about buying or selling a Jersey Shore home, please call Patrick at 732-455-5252 or via email with our convenient contact form.