Be It Ever So Humble…

Jeanine O' Donnell - State Farm

By Jeanine O’Donnell

There is certainly no place like it! Your “castle” can be your first apartment or the mansion you always dreamed of sitting steps from the beach. How do you keep it safe? How do you make sure it is protected?

Those questions are asked and answered every day with people who are renting or who own; those that have a card table and blow-up mattress to fine arts and the finest of furniture. There are things that you may not even think of until a thorough review is done. Here are some important tips to keep your home sweet home safe and coverage questions to make sure you can answer:

  • Make sure your home and contents are covered for replacement costs. This avoids depreciation in the event of a loss which can mean more money out of your pocket.
  • Review all deductibles on your policy with your agent. This is especially critical if you are in a coastal area, as there can be additional out of pocket expense in the event of high winds, tropical storms or hurricanes.
  • Ask your agent what special limits exist on contents. Items like money, coins, jewelry, business property, collectibles, guns, silverware, and computers can be limited to a certain dollar amount. There are special policies available that provide increased coverage and sometimes even a lower deductible on these items.
  • Remember floods and earthquakes are not covered on a homeowner policy. If you own a condo, there may be coverage offered under your association, however you must check to make sure. These disasters can be covered through endorsements or a separate flood insurance policy. Ask your agent for details.
  • You should take a photo inventory of your contents to substantiate your property in the event of a loss. This also helps you get a clear picture of what you may have. Just think 100 music CDs/movies at an average of $15 and you are already at $1500! It adds up quickly when you talk about clothing, furniture, electronics-don’t underestimate what you have, as saving a few dollars up front could cost you thousands out of pocket in the event of a loss.
  • Understand there is another section for of your policy for liability which can assist you in the event of a lawsuit. Discuss the coverage available especially if you have pets, a swimming pool or trampoline, children who bring their friends over to play or you entertain a great deal.
  • Make preventative maintenance a part of your routine. Check your washing/ice machine hoses for wear and tear to prevent ruptures. Get on a regular schedule for pest control as most policies will not cover termites or vermin that can do significant damage. Clean your dryer vent after each load and check your output hose for lint accumulation.

Being a homeowner comes with excitement and lots of responsibility. Review your policy annually with your agent to insure proper coverage and peace of mind in the event the unfortunate occurs. We see it every day. While you can’t prevent it you can mitigate your loss with good coverage! Knowledge = Protection.

“There are things that you may not even think of until a thorough review is done. Here are some important tips to keep your home sweet home safe and coverage questions to make sure you can answer …”

State Farm®