Uncle Bobs Tips

Maximize your Losses and Raise your Premiums

Maximize your Losses and Raise your Premiums

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Make the following homeowner insurance mistakes, and you will be sure not to have the right amount or types of coverage that you need.

1) Don't purchase insurance

You can't stop bad things from happening, but you can protect yourself financially by purchasing homeowners insurance. Benefits of having insurance include:

Peace of mind: Insurance provides some security or peace of mind from pending loss or catastrophe

Payment for losses: Insurance supplies the financial aid that permits a family or organization to continue despite serious loss

Provides a basis for credit: Creditors must know that their collateral will not disappear in a fire or other loss, and this security is achieved by having the borrower purchase proper amounts of insurance for their homes or automobiles

2) Don't purchase enough insurance

Your home's worth can be determined in two different ways:

11) Don't keep track of your belongings

When you make an insurance claim for damaged, lost, or stolen property, you must prove your claim. You'll be asked to provide copies of bills, receipts, or other documentation to support your figures. If you fail to include an adequate description you may receive less than full compensation for your losses. Relying solely on your memory can be an expensive mistake! The experts recommend a home inventory: a detailed list of the personal property located in your home and on your property. You should list: furniture, jewelry, artwork, antiques, appliances, kitchen contents, clothes, carpets, drapes, computer equipment, television sets and other audio/audiovisual equipment, musical instruments, clocks, mirrors, linens, lawn mowers, snow equipment, tools, sports equipment, and any other item of value.

Home inventory tips: The easiest way to take an inventory is to photograph or videotape your belongings. Many computer software packages have inventory systems to make the job easier. Make sure to open closets and cabinets as you go through each room. A list of serial numbers, model numbers, purchase prices and dates is also helpful. Keep a file of sales receipts or appraisals (especially important for electronics, jewelry, artwork and other expensive items). Store a copy of the inventory and other valuable papers in a safe-deposit box, with a friend, and at home. Update your inventory at least annually to make sure that it accurately reflects your home's contents.

12) Don't report your loss

In the case of loss or damage, be sure to notify your insurance company. If the loss is due to a criminal act such as theft, notify the police. Verify what documents, forms, and other data you will need to process your claim. Save receipts from temporary repairs and submit them to the insurance company for reimbursement. Permanent repairs should not be made until after the company has had a chance to inspect the damaged property. If you are unable to live in your home, inform your insurance company of your whereabouts so they can reach you. Complete and submit all required forms in a timely manner to help prevent delays in the claims process.

13) Always agree with your insurance company

If you do not agree with the amount your company is allowing for your loss, you can initiate the appraisal clause of the insurance contract. This requires you and your insurance company to each select a disinterested appraiser. The appraisers in turn select an umpire. Each appraiser evaluates the loss and determines the value of each item. Any disagreement between the two appraisers regarding the value of any item(s) is settled by the umpire. The cost of this process is shared by the policy holder and the insurance company.

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