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5 Questions to Ask About Your Homeowners Insurance

April 26th, 2023 by

Any type of insurance usually comes with a long list of questions. If you aren’t asking them (or aren’t even sure WHAT to ask), we’re here to help! Homeowners insurance, in particular, comes with plenty of confusing options. 

Whether you’re buying a new home and getting it insured for the first time, or updating policies on your existing property, here are some of the best questions to ask your insurance agent to be sure you have all of the coverage you need.

1. How Much Coverage Do I Have?

The amount of coverage you will have, should you ever need to use it, on your home is one of the most important questions to ask. Many insurance companies offer to estimate what it will cost to replace your entire home, brand new. Should you lose your home in a covered disaster, you will want to be sure you can afford a new one in its place.

When reviewing this estimate, however, you will want to look to see if it covers things such as detached structures. Many policies differentiate between an attached garage and a detached one. Do you have a workshop, shed, or pool house on your property? These detached structures can be expensive to replace, but may need to be written into your policy separately. 

2. Does My Policy Cover the Home’s Contents?

Your next question should be about your belongings. Are the contents of your home included in the policy? Be sure to ask if personal items like your clothes, jewelry, antiques, furniture, electronics, and other property inside your home is included.

If they are included, your questions don’t stop there. Personal property is typically insured in two ways: replacement cost or actual cash value (ACV). A replacement cost would be what that item would cost to replace today. 

This means if, let’s say in a disaster, you have a tree crash down into your roof. In the damage, aside from structurally to your home, your grandmother’s antique dresser was destroyed. Beyond the sentimental value lost, how much would a similar piece be to purchase on today’s market?

Actual cash value, however, takes into account the depreciation of an item. A new dresser does not cost the same as grandma’s antique. But, some may consider that the ACV of a dresser that is 100 years old is pretty low, given its age.

3. Are Water, Electric, and Sewer Covered?

Sometimes, homeowners insurance has caveats. Some items might not be covered at all. Some might be covered if there is an abrupt and unexpected incident, but not covered if they are a result of long-term wear or negligence. 

If you are concerned about the inner lines of your home, within the home, within detached structures, from your home to the main line, the main line on your street … Well, these can all have unique answers. Be sure to question your provider to understand what is (and what is not) included in your policy.

4. Am I Covered For Additional Living Expenses?

Let’s say your sewer line is broken by a tree root system. Let’s also say (and see number three to be clear), you are covered in this event. Your insurance company is going to replace the lines for you at no cost to you. Great!

However, you now can’t live in your home. The work is going to take five days over a holiday weekend, and you’ll have no flushing toilets. You and your family are headed for a hotel. Does your insurance cover that expense? 

Be sure to see if your policy covers these unexpected added expenses should your home be inhabitable during repairs. Hotel nights, especially on a holiday weekend which not only drags out how long the work will take but drives up the price of rooms, can get costly, fast.

5. Am I Covered Due to Weather Damage?

Depending on where you live, your concerns may vary. But all homeowners should ask about coverage like flood insurance. Many companies offer a separate flood policy, depending on your location in the flood zone. 

Other considerations regarding weather can include high winds, storms, tornadoes, or hail storms. Flooding isn’t the only concern when it comes to Mother Nature’s wrath! Be sure you understand which conditions and damages may and may not be covered. 

Now that you know which questions to ask about your homeowner’s policies, get in touch with Rehm Insurance! We’re here to help you navigate all your insurance concerns with our friendly, local staff.

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