Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Home Repairs & the Law - Homeowners Insurance Policy Tips

First, homeowners policies are all unique and must be read in their entirety. If you have any questions about your policy, you should contact an attorney rather than taking the word of your insurance company because they are not in the business of advocating for you and instead seek to minimize their payments / exposure.

Its important that you don't assume that you do or don't have coverage for a specific loss. There are many gray areas of coverage.

An important item to review in your insurance policy is if it pays Replacement Value or Cash Value for your damaged property.

Replacement Value refers to the cost to replace the property on the same premises with property of comparable material & quality.

Cash Value refers to the cost to replace with new property of like kind & quality, less depreciation.

To be clear, Replacement Value is much better for the insured than Cash Value as there is no depreciation taken into account when evaluating the homeowner's claim.

Next, you should check your deductible, take pictures of your losses, make a list of everything damaged / lost and promptly contact your insurance carrier to provide them with adequate notice (there are generally notice requirements to obtain your insurance coverage, including the way you provide notice and to whom).