Virtually every homeowner is likely to experience a problem that will result in an insurance claim. However, it’s important to know what sorts of claims are common and what protection you need should you experience a problem. Following are the five most common homeowners’ insurance claims:
Water Damage: Even though you live far from riverbanks or the ocean, water damage is one of the most common-and most serious-claims. Burst pipes and overflowing toilets are just a couple of possible water sources. Ensure your policy covers water damage, whatever the source.
Severe Weather: Severe weather damage is expensive, especially in areas that are particularly prone to it. Coastal states experience hurricane winds and hail. States further inland face tornadoes, harsh winters, and uncommon occurrences like derechos (severe windstorms). Align your coverage with your area’s particular weather risk.
Accidents: Even best friends may sue if they are injured on a friend’s property. Carry high liability limits and an umbrella policy. That extends your policy’s liability limits if resulting injury claim expenses max out your policy limits-easily possible when combining your injured visitor’s lost wages, medical bills, attorney costs, and more.
Dog attacks: Fido may not hurt a fly, but for whatever reason, he decides to bite a houseguest. Your guest has every right to sue you. As with accident claims, you could end up owing a lot, especially when children are involved. Carry at least $300,000 in liability coverage.
Fire: Any fire loss is devastating, and the resulting claims process is taxing. You will need to prove that the property’s value is destroyed. But note: your insurer may not agree. To streamline claims and ensure adequate compensation, keep detailed personal property inventories like values, home upgrade information, correlating receipts, and appraisals. Carry sufficient coverage to replace your home and everything in it. And make sure to keep them safe in a fire safe lock box or online.