If you’re like most Americans, your home is your largest investment. You put a lot of money into purchasing it, paying off the mortgage, and keeping it running. But you also put a great deal of time into making it your own. You are proud of your home. So what if something were to happen to it — such as a fire, burglary or vandalism?
While you may not want to think about it, these are risks for virtually every homeowner in the United States. Fortunately, with the right home insurance policy in place, you don't have to worry about the financial risks associated with these types of losses.
Your home insurance policy will protect you against many risk your home faces. It should provide, at the minimum:
- Enough financial coverage to help you rebuild your home if it were to be lost in a covered incident.
- Coverage to replace your belongings lost in such an event.
- Protection from liability risks — such as others being hurt on your property.
- Enough protection to cover any high-value items you have on your property.
When it comes to making decisions about your home's value, it can be hard to know what it truly is worth. Generally speaking, most homeowners need to take extra precautions not to underinsure their home. For example, if you have actual value insurance, this may not take into account the cost of construction to rebuild your home. Rather, it is often recommended that homeowners have enough coverage for the cost of construction — if those costs outpace inflation. This will also help guarantee replacement cost coverage instead of actual value.
You also want to take into account the value of every item in your home. How much will it take to replace those items? Get an appraisal of your home and its items to determine the home’s actual value. This is the only real way to know how much your home is worth, and ensure you have ample coverage to rebuild it.
Home insurance plans need to provide an appropriate level of protection to ensure your finances don’t get drained in the event of a covered incident. However, if you haven't estimated your value, you could be underestimating your insurance needs.