Your home is often your most important and valuable investment. For this reason, you should make sure you have the right type and sufficient amount of insurance coverage to protect your home. Homeowner’s insurance usually protects your home, its contents, and provides coverage in the event that people are injured on your property, as well as small amounts of money to pay for medical bills incurred by people injured at your home. Your agent usually determines the amount of coverage, based on the information you provide.
There are several options that you can purchase with your homeowners policy. The most important is “replacement cost” coverage. You should make sure that you purchase this so that you will have insurance coverage to replace your home, or the damaged parts of your home, with “like kind and quality.” If you do not purchase “replacement cost” coverage, you will only be compensated for the “actual cash value” of your home or its contents on the date when it was destroyed or damaged.
Other important types of coverage to purchase include building code upgrade coverage and riders to cover jewelry, sporting goods, guns, computers, business equipment or tools, etc. If you are doing business at home, talk to your agent to make sure that you have the correct type and amount of insurance coverage.
If you make a claim on your homeowners insurance policy, you have a duty to cooperate with your insurer. You will be required to submit documents, records, tax returns, bank records, etc. You may also be required to meet with insurance adjusters and submit to a recorded statement and an examination under oath. At some point, you will also be required to submit a Proof of Loss form and/or an Inventory in which you list all of the contents that you claim were damaged or destroyed. You must take these inquiries very seriously. If you misstate anything at all, even as an innocent mistake, you may not only face the denial of your claim, but also criminal prosecution for insurance fraud. As a result, if you have an insurance claim related to your home, it is wise to consult an experienced attorney immediately. If you don’t do this at the beginning of your claim, it may be too late for an attorney to help you by the time you realize you are in trouble.
At Nelson Boyd, we have years of experience in helping people with homeowners’ claims. Call Nelson Boyd attorneys for a free consultation- (206) 971-7601. We can help you get through this confusing process.