Whether you’re becoming a homeowner for the first time or you’re buying a new home for the third or fourth time, buying property is a big deal. Your new home will be a haven for you and your family members, or so you hope, as well as a place to protect your personal property from the elements. Naturally, it makes sense to protect your purchase and protect yourself from exorbitant payments if an unfortunate event should come to pass.
Protecting your new home means maintenance and upkeep—you can’t keep your roof in good shape if you don’t clear out your gutters regularly—but it also means taking out an insurance policy. Maintenance keeps the effects of wear and tear at bay, but homeowners insurance covers you if something dire should happen. You can’t predict a flood or a tornado. Nonetheless, natural disasters, fires, and other extreme events can sweep through your property, leaving property damage in their wake. Homeowners insurance provides you with peace of mind since you know that your insurance company will have your back if the worst should happen. So, what should you be asking your insurance company before buying homeowners insurance? Let’s take a look at some key questions for any policyholder to ask.
What does the claim process look like?
One of the first things to ask the insurance adjuster you’re speaking to is what the process of filing an insurance claim looks like. This is important for any insurance policy, especially for homeowners taking out home insurance. If a tornado destroys your home and your belongings, you will not want to go through a complicated claim process before you get your hands on a reimbursement. Different insurance companies have different protocols, so when you’re putting together a home insurance compare and contrast, the difficulty of filing an insurance claim should be high on your list of topics for the insurer in question. If the insurance company has a mobile app through which claims can be filed, along with great customer service, that’s the kind of claims process that will make your life, as a policyholder, a whole lot easier.
Are my premiums fixed?
People don’t usually move into a new home for a year or two, so you’ll probably be taking out homeowners insurance for a long period of time. Since that’s the case, it’s worth asking if your premiums will remain fixed throughout the life of the insurance policy. The insurer should answer this with no trouble, but if the insurance agent begins to hem and haw, it’s time to talk to a different company altogether.
Does this homeowners insurance cover medical bills?
This is another crucial question to ask before purchasing home insurance. After all, you or your family members may incur some bodily injury during an extreme event, and it will help if the medical bills are covered. Asking, “how long does an insurance claim take?” is relevant in this case as well. Having to pay upfront for medical costs due to personal injury incurred in your dwelling can be expensive. It would help if you also asked the insurer whether your home insurance covers bodily injury only for you, the policyholder, or other people, such as family members or guests. There may be some surprise exclusions that you’ll want to know about ahead of time.
Of course, no one wants to imagine the day that flood damage or a tornado destroys the home they love. Unfortunately, these perils are a fact of life. Getting a home insurance policy to cover you, the ones you love, and the personal property in your home is worth the amount of money it will cost you in premiums. It’s a good idea to contact an insurance company and ask about options. You can’t put a price on peace of mind, and that’s what these insurance companies can give you.