Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Home Owner's Insurance

Living in Southern California can be a beautiful thing...but as I look out my window to the red light of the sun that is covered by smoke, right now it can be a scary thing, too. With 10 major fires burning in the Southern California area, I have decided it is a good time to take a look at my Home Owner's insurance policy.

I called my insurance provider, USAA, and was able to find out a great deal of information about my policy that I really didn't know before. (To be honest, my husband set up our policy four years ago and I have always just renewed it.)

What I found out today is what amount we would get to rebuild our home if it were destroyed and how much we would get for personal property loss. While the personal property loss sounded well and good, I was really unsure of the dwelling coverage...how do I know if that amount will be enough?
The agent I talked to on the phone gave me the great advice of calling builders in the area (not major builders who mass produce or contractors who just do remodeling) to find out how much they charge per square foot for rebuilding your home. That way, you can divide the amount of dwelling insurance you have by the square footage of your home and determine whether or not you have good enough coverage for a builder in your area to build your exact same home as good as new. If you don't, then you may need to add on to your policy.

Something else I found out on my call to my insurance provider...if you live in Southern California, right now you can't make increases to your policy due to the fires. You can only lower your coverage.

But even if you can't change your policy right now, it is always good to take a look at what you have...chances are, things in your life have changed since you bought your original policy, or you want to make changes in your life that your insurance provider should be aware of.

As a person who was evacuated 4 years ago due to the Speedway fire, my thoughts and prayers go out to all those people that have been evacuated, lost their homes, or just been scared by all these fires that are raging out of control.

If you aren't directly impacted, consider yourself lucky, and take this opportunity to get all of your important items (i.e. what you would take with you if you were evacuated, necessary documents, etc.) together. As the saying goes, "It wasn't raining when Noah built the ark."

2 comments:

magnolia mama said...

What a great idea. My mom is a State Farm agent and I'm still very slack about my homeowners policy.

Houses, Couches and Babies said...

Another good idea I heard about your important documents...keep them in a safe deposit box if you can, but also put copies together in a sealed envelope and give them to someone you trust, and who doesn't live in your community.

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