Here are the Top 5 Things I see people miss when reviewing their Northern Virginia Homeowners Insurance Plan
1. Understand your deductible – Many clients who come to me to review their Virginia Homeowners insurance policy realize they have a deductible they didn’t know about or even understand. Some Insurance Companies offer split deductibles meaning they offer one deductible for theft say $500 but a much bigger one for windstorm or tropical cyclone say 5%. ( on a house that’s insured for $250,000 that’s a $11,250 deductible) that’s a huge deductible and while your premium will be super low. If a windstorm drops a tree on your house you pay the first $11,250.00 before the insurance company pays a dime. I usually recommend high deductibles, but It is never a good thing when it’s a surprise
2. Make sure you have adequate Replacement Cost Dwelling Coverage– Many customers just rely on their agent to tell them how much to insure the house for. You should be proactive and use several sources to come up with a number. Here are 2 you can use right now.
Remember you don’t have to insure for the value of the land!
a.) Find your latest appraisal and look on page 2 or 3 where they show the Cost Approach to Value.
b.) Know any contractors or home builders? Call one and ask about the average cost per square foot. Measure your house and do the math. Pro’s Tip** the links above for your property assessment will give you the above ground square footage of your house. Don’t forget to add in the cost of finishing your basement. Do you have imported Italian marble floors or a Viking Range??? Probably should go with higher than average amount!.
3. Sewer and Drain Coverage– Expands the type of water that is covered under your policy I recommend it to everyone. Understand what the difference between a Sewer and drain back up and ground water. Be diligent and keep all exterior drains to your house clear of leaves and debris.
4. Combine Virginia Homeowner and Auto Insurance to get discounts. Most Virginia Insurance companies offer a discount for combining the two policies. With this added discount you can often use those saving to protect your assets with a Virginia Liability Umbrella Policy. The savings on combining the coverage often allows you to pick up this valuable excess bodily injury and property damage liability very affordably.
5. Watch out for Jewelry limitations. Most Virginia homeowner’s insurance policies carry a limitation for Jewelry coverage for theft and breakage. Theft and Breakage are the real threats to your jewelry. A separate annual policy or as an endorsement to your homeowner policy you can add this coverage. You usually just need a full description of the item or a recent appraisal. It’s not expensive at all.