As any smart homeowner can tell you, the moment that a disaster strikes is not the time to discover that your current homeowners insurance doesn’t cover the damages you’ve incurred. There are ways to determine if the coverage you have is sufficient for your current situation. If not, perhaps now is a good time to shop for better rates on house insurance in New Jersey.
Two policies of equal value can promise the same amount of coverage, but they can also be vastly different when it comes to making reparations after a loss. Have your agent explain exactly how claims are handled. You’ll want to know, for instance, is a check received for the entire claim upfront, or just a fraction? Will the company pay for all of the things you’ve lost, and what exceptions, if any, exist?
Some policies will give the cash value of possessions right after a loss and wait to cover the replacement value when items are actually replaced, provided that you have the receipts to prove it. This could be a serious problem if no cash reserves are currently available.
How to go about filing a claim
Filing a claim generally involves two steps; proving certain items were owned, and verifying their value. Most people use a smartphone or video camera to record anything of value. Keep the video (or photos) in a safe-deposit box with a copy of the insurance policy, or someplace safe outside of the home.
Homeowners’ policies will often limit the amount that can be collected on some of the more high-priced items (for example, computer equipment, jewelry, furs and fine collectibles) to a mere fraction of the replacement value. In this case, pick up a special policy known as a “floater” or “endorsement” for those particular items. A floater will also reimburse you if the article is lost or stolen.
Remember to save the bill of sale of any newly purchased item and fax a copy to the insurance agent. For older items, make sure to have an appraisal done and send a copy to the agent. This will provide the necessary proof of ownership, and there’ll never be a dispute over its actual value.
These are a few important considerations that can help you to decide if your current coverage is sufficient, or if perhaps there’s a need to look for the best current rates on house insurance in New Jersey. You’ll want a policy that will cover any additions or changes that may also have taken place.