New to Homeownership?
Here’s What to Expect From Your Insurance Policy
When I bought my home, I had A LOT to learn, and one of those things was that my homeowner’s insurance policy doesn’t cover flood from heavy rainfall or damage from earthquakes. If you’re like me and didn’t know this, rest assured, you’re not alone. Apparently I had not expressed enough when I was going through the process that I needed people to ‘dumb it down for me’ because I didn’t want to agree to anything without knowing what I was agreeing to, but it happened anyway. I was constantly dealing with annoying legal jargon, and miscommunications from every angle. So, if you find out after closing your home that your insurance policy doesn’t cover everything you thought it did, what should you do?
Do your research
If you use your preferred search engine you’ll find that protection against floodwaters is available but only through the government or a private insurance company. If you live in the middle of the Mojave desert, you probably don’t need protection from water, or if you live in Nebraska, earthquakes most likely aren’t at the top of the threat list, but if you’re moving to a place that you don’t know the weather patterns, it can be helpful to look up average yearly rainfall or history of natural disasters, or maybe even crack open a farmer’s almanac to see what you should expect.
How much is TOO much coverage?
If you’ve decided that extra coverage might be the way to go, just try not to be knocked off your feet by the “sticker price”. The price you pay fluctuates based on the things you’re looking for in your policy. If you decide you’d rather take your chances, what can you do? The best thing you can do is to ask questions! Ask your questions and keep asking them until it’s explained in a way that you understand without a doubt, or go find someone who can give you that peace of mind. It isn’t likely that something will happen, especially if you are moving into a newly built home from a builder who knows what to expect of the climate you’re in, but what if something does happen?
I know this is way way way easier said than done, but staying calm will help to not heighten an already stressful situation. The second thing is safety first. Make sure each member of your family is safe and sound, and then figure out a game plan from there. I’ve gone through 3 house fires, and each time there was nothing we could have done differently. We were safe, but we couldn’t say the same for our belongings. The last thing is to remember that things are just things. Each of your things are replaceable, and it may take time, or money, or both to recover everything, but it is possible. Unfortunately, most of us don’t have access to a flying DeLorean with a flux capacitor, so we’ve just gotta keep moving forward. Do your research, ask your questions, and figure out the best course of action for you!