There's a reason the phrase 'home is where the heart is' exists. While homes protect valuables, they are also where family and friends make memories and begin traditions...
To protect your hard work and investment, homeowner's insurance is the precautionary measure that will control the damage that is done in-the -event of a disaster. When you invest in an insurance policy, it's easy to overlook the small structural and maintenance problems that can over time, become large issues. The policy assumes the homeowners' are responsible for managing, documenting and reporting certain issues; so completely understanding your insurance policy is vital, and your right as a homeowner.
Below is a Checklist to help relieve the headaches of understanding insurance policy responsibilities:
Homeowner's Insurance Policy Checklist:
- Knowledge: Read your policy. If you have any questions, or trouble understanding its terms - contact your insurance agent/ company for clear explanations. Remember: Your insurance policy is a legal contract that you have a right to understand.
- File away: Have all members of your home go through and take pictures of each room. Document contents (furniture, electronics, etc), valuables and condition of the home. Create a household contents inventory and keep it updated as often as possible. Keep the file of contents with your policy, paperwork, statements, correspondence and receipts-of-payment in a secure place, such as a safety deposit box. Also, make a digital copy you can save online.
- Repair, Renew, Repeat:
- Build a list of trusted contractors and sub-contractors as contacts in your community.
- Have a thorough air duct cleaning and dryer vent cleaningannually. Replace your air filters every month.
- Check your vents and ducts, especially during seasonal transitions.
- Look for leaks around windows and doors.
- Take note of any changes in your power and electric bills. If you suddenly see a spike or abnormal increase, then there may be a problem.
- If you notice any smells, dampness, or members of your home start to develop allergies, get a mold inspection and document the results (i.e. report/ video). Make sure you clearly understand the sourceof the problem and the process it will take to repair.
Proud homeowners are also proactive homeowners. It's impossible to predict catastrophe, but being equipped with a firm knowledge base of your policy - in addition to having trusted, reputable sources of contractors in your community, is the preparation you can implement to relieve the hassle in the aftermath of an emergency.