Buying a home is considered by most people as their most important purchase. If so, then buying homeowners insurance should be the second most important. While buying a home is an exciting time, there are important and often overlooked aspects that must be carefully considered. One of which is deciding which homeowner insurance policy to purchase, particularly in Florida where challenges from unexpected weather damage can be exacerbated by seemingly unimportant provisions in your insurance policy.
Important Considerations When Buying Homeowners Insurance
First, while the price is an important consideration, another important consideration is the financial stability of the insurance carrier, how the insurance carrier handles claims, and the conditions and limitations of the policy. When buying homeowner insurance, be sure to investigate the companies offering the policies. While a low-cost insurance company may offer low premiums and seemingly great coverage, the policy may come with many exclusions and limitations when handling the claim. In natural disasters, large volumes of claims can bankrupt insurance companies. Thus, a financially stable insurance company is paramount. Generally, insurance companies that have a strong history of paying claims and surviving major payout events (such as hurricanes) tend to be stable. More established insurance companies, such as Geico and Allstate, are good places to start. Nonetheless, you should consult with a professional to determine an insurer’s financial stability.
Next, you should evaluate the coverage offered by each policy. In many cases, low-cost policies are low-cost for a reason: their coverage is significantly limited. Policies limit their coverage through exclusions and limits to coverage amounts. The exclusions section identifies certain events and types of damage that is not covered by the policy. Relatively common exclusions include flood damage, damage from power failures, sewage drain backups, neglect, defective materials, etc. When considering different homeowner’s insurance policies, exclusions should be carefully considered. Similarly, homeowner’s insurance policies will commonly limit the amount of coverage for items within the home that are damaged. While you may have a policy for $500,000 but it may have a limit for personal property of $5,000. Your grandmother’s piano may be worth $10,000, but if the policy may limits coverage to personal property to $5,000, your damages may not be fully covered. Thus, two important considerations when buying homeowner’s insurance is whether the insurance company can pay a claim and whether that claim is actually covered under the policy.
Contact the Law Office of William J. Roe Today
When filing claims against your policy, insurance companies may try to refuse to pay the claim – often relying on exclusions and other policy limits or undervalue your claim. In many situations, an insurance company may refuse to cover an event that is seemingly covered in your policy, citing an excluded event actually caused the damage, such as claiming that damage was due to flooding (an often excluded event) rather than the actual storm that caused the damage. We see these tactics all too often and have the skillset and experience to hold your insurance policy provider accountable.
At the Law Office of William J. Roe, our attorneys work tirelessly and diligently to get you’re the outcome you deserve. If you have questions relating to a homeowners insurance claim, please contact our offices today to schedule a consultation.