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March 14, 2023

6 Pro Tips to consider with your personal insurance

Is your homeowner's insurance policy enough to cover your assets, or should you consider increasing the limit?

Owning a home comes with a slew of potential accidents that can be costly to you if you aren't properly insured. You could find yourself liable for situations you may never have considered. While homeowners insurance provides you with a solid starting point for financial coverage, it might not be enough to cover the full worth of your assets.

Insurance rates are on the rise, resulting in carriers implementing policy limits and exclusions in an attempt to keep premium costs down. Paying less for insurance coverage might sound great now, but not getting covered for the things you need can be detrimental to your finances should the worst-case scenario occur.

To help you evaluate your personal liability insurance options and get informed on whether it makes sense to add coverage back in, arm yourself with these home insurance tips that will provide examples of the many areas your current personal liability policy might not be covering.

1. Be aware of roofing and siding matching exclusions

If your roof gets damaged due to hail, a fallen tree, or another unexpected disaster, your insurance policy might only cover the damaged area rather than replace the entire roof. The same goes for siding. Some carriers may expand the exclusion to include windows, gutters, roof vents, and valleys.

It can be difficult to find the matching shingles or siding if your home is an older build, so your roof might appear to have a patchwork look if only one section is replaced, resulting in a less-appealing exterior that will likely bring down the overall value of the home.

If roofing and siding matching is excluded from your insurance coverage, you'd be on the hook for coming up with the additional funds to replace the rest of the roof or exterior, resulting in a large, expensive replacement. So, if you live in an area prone to natural disasters or own an older home that's due for exterior updates, you'll probably benefit from selecting a homeowners insurance policy that covers siding and roofing damage fully.

2. Look for guaranteed replacement cost

If a disaster ever occurs that causes irreparable damage to your home, you'll kick yourself if you don't have guaranteed replacement costs built into your insurance policy.

This insurance add-on requires your insurance company to pay the full cost of replacing a home after a disaster, even if it exceeds your policy limit. Above all else, this add-on gives you the peace of mind of knowing you're fully covered if you ever find yourself in a situation that requires it.

This is an especially valuable policy add-on if you live in a disaster-prone area where your home is more at risk for natural elements like hurricanes, wildfires, tornadoes, floods, hail, etc.—but it can truly be a lifesaver for anyone.

You can't predict disasters, so erring on the side of caution could be to your benefit. As they say, it's better to be safe than sorry!

3. Add service line coverage

Have you ever considered who's responsible for damage to your home's service lines, such as power lines or water pipes?

If you haven't thought about the expense of damaged service lines, you really should. Excavation and repair of underground wiring and piping can be extremely costly. Something as simple as digging in the wrong spot in your yard and slamming into a service line or a pipe freezing and bursting in the winter could require major repairs both internally and externally, depending on the situation.

Adding service line coverage onto your personal homeowner's policy protects you from shouldering the cost of utility line repairs, so it's definitely something to take seriously.

4. Consider personal cyber coverage

Are you financially protected from cyber crimes? According to Forbes.com, there are more than 4,000 ransomware attacks every day in the United States. There are so many cyber security threats out there, and cybercriminals are getting smarter with their techniques, making it easier to infiltrate and extort your personal information.

As a victim of a cybercrime, you can face major financial consequences including legal fees, extortion demands, and more. Protect yourself from fraud and data theft by ensuring your policy includes cyber coverage and adding it if it doesn't.

The number of internet-capable devices in the average home has increased exponentially, creating serious exposures that most homeowners are not even aware of. And these increasingly common crimes can be extremely expensive, so don't ruin your financial health by neglecting to protect yourself from cybercriminals!

5. Do you have enough personal umbrella insurance?

Purchasing personal umbrella insurance is one of the best home insurance tips for protecting yourself, your family, and your assets. This type of insurance will help you out if you find yourself liable for a claim that's more than what your regular liability insurance covers, picking up where your homeowner's insurance policy leaves off.

Weighing your options and knowing what you're most at risk for will help you determine the extent of coverage to obtain. There are many reasons why you might want to consider taking out an umbrella insurance policy, including if you coach a youth sports team or own a trampoline or other item that could easily lead to an injury lawsuit. There are so many situations that can quickly escalate financially, leaving you to come up with funds you probably don't have on hand.

If you've already secured a personal umbrella insurance policy, take some time to think through all your assets to determine whether or not your policy is large enough to cover them. And if you don't already have an umbrella policy, you should definitely consider taking one out.

6. If you have a boat, max out your medical pay policy

Watercraft accidents are far too common to not be covered. If an accident were to happen on your watercraft, you could be liable to pay for medical bills that might be extremely costly if you're not properly insured.

If an accident takes place on your boat or you get into an accident with another boat, your medical pay policy will protect you and your passengers by covering medical, ambulance, and hospital expenses.

The same holds true for other recreational vehicles such as snowmobiles and ATVs. By maxing out your medical pay policy, you can rest easy knowing you won't be overwhelmed with medical payments should you find yourself in an unfortunate situation.

Christensen Group Is Here For All of Your Insurance Needs

These are situations that everyone hopes they'll never find themselves in, but the bottom line is that if you aren't prepared, you could be on the line for a large sum of money. By following the homeowner's insurance tips above, you can rest easy knowing your finances are secure and that you've done all you can to keep yourself and your assets secure.

With changes to insurance policies, staying educated on what your plan covers—and what it doesn't—can be the difference between financial stability and financial ruin. Contact us today to learn more about our insurance options and how our policies can keep you and your loved ones safe.

About the author

Tony has nearly two decades of experience in the insurance industry and holds a Certified Insurance Counselor designation. In addition to specializing in tailored risk management for affluent families, Tony sits on Agent Advisory Boards for multiple carriers. He also gives back by teaching Personal Insurance to high school seniors.

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