Your home may be worth as much or more than your retirement account. As a result, it makes sense to track your home insurance as carefully as you do your 401k. Here are a few tips to help make sure you have the right amount of home insurance, but remember you can always contact us with questions.
If you haven’t checked in recently, you might consider contacting us to schedule an annual review of your home’s value and contents.
We want you to be relieved, knowing you’ve made informed decisions about the amount of home insurance needed to help you recover in the event of a loss. Check out the tips provided below, to make sure you are prepared for the worst-case scenario.
Know Your Limits
With home improvement being a national pastime and construction costs rising, it’s a good idea to check your policy limits once a year with us.
Planning to remodel your home? Just finished adding a new deck, fence or garage in your front yard? It is time to review your limits with us.
Rebuilding Is Different Than Buying
Remember that the cost to buy and the cost to rebuild are different. Consequently, you can’t rely on your home’s market value to set your insurance limits. An appropriate amount of insurance coverage will permit you to rebuild your home in the event of a total loss. That replacement value depends on the physical characteristics of your home, as well as the price of labor and materials in your area. In most areas, these costs increase with time.
Ballpark Your Coverage Needs
We can estimate the typical cost of rebuilding your home based on the average costs of materials and labor in California. However, this number won’t reflect major upgrades made to your home or the cost of replacing your home’s unique features, unless you specifically inform us or a customer care professional about major upgrades.
If your home is truly unique or custom built, or if you’d simply like additional peace of mind, knowing that you’ve selected the right amount of insurance, consider asking an expert like Onstad's Insurance Agency. For a modest fee, you can hire a building contractor to give you a more precise estimate of the cost of rebuilding your home.
Inventory Your Home
We recommend doing a thorough inventory of your home’s contents. Compare the value of your belongings to the “contents,” or personal property limit listed in your policy, and make sure these match up.
Using a video camera is the easiest way to do inventory of your home. That way, you can record and describe items as you walk through your house. A regular camera and a home inventory checklist work well, too. Share the completed list with us to review and make sure your belongings are fully covered. Store your video or photo inventory off-site, so you won’t lose it if your house is damaged.