Home insurance is one of those things that you hope you never have to use, but it’s there for peace of mind if the worst happens. However, many people make mistakes when buying home insurance that can cost them dearly if they ever need to make a claim. This blog post will explore five of the most common mistakes people make when buying home insurance. By avoiding these pitfalls, you can be sure that you’re getting the best coverage for your needs. So read on to learn more.
1. Not Reading the Policy Documents Carefully
When taking out any insurance, it’s essential to read the policy documents carefully to understand exactly what is and isn’t covered. This is especially true for home insurance, as there can be a lot of small print that you may not be aware of. Many people skim over the policy documents or don’t read them at all and then find themselves disappointed when they try to make a claim and discover that it’s not covered. So take the time to carefully read your policy documents to know exactly what you’re covered for.
2. Not Disclosing Any Relevant Information
When applying for home insurance, you’ll be asked to disclose relevant information about your property and lifestyle. It’s vital that you answer these questions honestly, as failing to do so could invalidate your policy.
3. Buying the Bare Minimum of Coverage
Many try to save money by only buying the bare minimum of home insurance coverage they need. However, this can be a false economy, as if you ever need to make a claim, you may find that your damages aren’t fully covered. It’s always better to err on the side of caution.
4. Not Shopping Around
When it comes to insurance, it’s important to shop around and compare different policies before you decide on one. Many people go with the first policy they come across without research, but this could cost you more in the long run.
5. Not Reviewing Your Policy Regularly
Your needs and circumstances can change over time, and it’s important to review your home insurance policy regularly to ensure that it still meets your needs. Many take out a policy and then forget it, but this could leave you underinsured or even completely uninsured.
If you’re looking for home insurance in Albany, NY, Toedt Insurance Agency LLC can help. We offer various policy options to suit your needs, and our team can help you find the right coverage for your situation. Contact us today to get started.
If you have been wondering why homeowner renewal prices have gone up more than usual, then wonder no more. The price increase is mainly due to increasing material and labor costs. This increase results in increases to the dwelling (or home) valuation or better known as your replacement cost. The average increase in valuation to replace your home is around 14%. Typically dwelling (home) values increase around 4-6% annually to keep pace with inflation. Since inflation is high and some materials still on back order or in short supply, dwelling replacement values have significantly increased. If you wish to discuss your dwelling values or premium increases, we’re here to help. Contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Accurately stating a building’s replacement cost or actual cash value with an adequate and current valuation has always been important for insureds. High inflation and supply chain constraints have further complicated matters making proper building valuation more important than ever.
The consequences of an undervalued building could have big implications for insureds, in the form of potentially large out-of-pocket expenses. Accurately stating a building’s replacement cost is important in order to help ensure that you-the insured have the level of protection you expect and need.
Common misperceptions with valuation
• Misperception #1: Purchase price or market value reflects an accurate value for a building’s replacement cost.
o The price of the building or current market value may not be an accurate reflection of its replacement cost.
• Misperception #2: Tax and mortgage costs show a building’s value.
o Assessed value for tax purposes can be vastly different from the cost of materials and labor to repair or replace building when it’s damaged.
o Similarly, appraisals performed to establish loans are typically performed at the beginning of the loan term and not updated until the financing program is renegotiated.
• Misperception #3: Keeping a valuation as is, despite inflation, will be fine.
o Property market dynamics vary, but if insured value does not increase over the course of a few years, there is a strong possibility it is undervalued. This dynamic is even more relevant in the current inflationary environment.
• Misperception #4: Buildings should be valued at the minimum amount required in the coinsurance clause.
o Coinsurance clauses in property policies allow for a buffer in the valuation, to help protect the policyholder in a situation where the value fluctuates over the policy period. Insuring a building at the minimum amount required by the coinsurance clause can increase the risk to the insured because using the minimum does not allow for common material and labor cost fluctuations.
Below is a simple example of how a valuation change can negatively affect a property owner:
• A commercial office building insured for $600,000 when the owner purchased it appreciates in value a few years later and suffers a total loss from a fire, costing $1M to replace. The property policy has scheduled limits of $600,000, meaning the insurer will pay a maximum amount of $600,000 for the claim (additional co-insurance penalties may apply). The building owner therefore faces at least $400,000 in out-of-pocket costs to rebuild.
It’s important that you-the insured knows that replacement costs have, in most instances, drastically increased in today’s market. Using values from prior years presents you-the insured with a significant risk. Our team of educated property professionals at Toedt Insurance Agency, LLC is here to help. We’ll help you use historical valuations, current local cost per square foot pricing and site specific details to arrive at an appropriate valuation. Contact Us Today!
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