When people buy home owner’s insurance they often make assumptions that are based on things they may have heard, or that they think “should” be covered by the policy. Unfortunately, these myths keep popping up over and over to the dismay of both the homeowner who thought he was covered and the agent who has to explain that he’s not.
Myth #1 - Floods are covered by home owner's insurance. The truth is that no home owner’s policy will ever cover flood damage. This is a separate policy altogether. Even if the flooding is due to a water heater malfunction or city drain line back-up, your home owner’s policy won’t cover it.
Myth #2 - My insurance will cover everything that I tell my agent was in the house at the time it was destroyed. If your house is destroyed in a way that it is impossible to determine what items were lost, the insurance company will only cover items that you have the exact purchase date, price and serial number of. This is why it is extremely important to keep a detailed list of high-ticket items in an off-site location like a safety deposit box. It is also helpful to keep a video of the interior of your home, in case there is any question as to whether the item was actually in the home at the time of destruction.
Myth #3 - My home owner’s insurance covers damage even if it is due to poor maintenance. Having a home owner’s policy does not excuse you from your duties to maintain your home. If the insurance company determines that your continued negligence led to the conditions that damaged or destroyed your home, your claim can, and most likely will, be denied.
Myth #4 - My coverage should be equal to the purchase price of my home. Many home owners think that getting a policy that matches the purchase price of their home will cover them in case of a total loss. The truth is it often doesn’t. The price to rebuild your home might be much higher than the actual price you purchased it for. Instead of insuring for the purchase price it is better to take the square footage of your home and multiply it by the current cost to build a new home per square foot in your area. This will give you the amount you would need to replace your home if it were destroyed tomorrow.
Myth #5 - If my home is burglarized, any valuables will be fully covered by my home policy. While most items in your home are covered by your home policy, high-ticket items like jewelry can add up quickly and most policies only cover up to a set amount of damages due to loss. These policies generally cover between $1500 to $2000 worth of goods. If you have expensive electronics, camera equipment, jewelry or anything else that would be hard to replace, you would be best served by getting an additional rider to cover these specific items.
Hopefully, you never have to hear the dreaded words, “I’m sorry, but that’s not covered by your policy.” If you aren’t sure if something is going to be covered by your policy, ask your agent. Remember, a quick question now could save you a whole lot of misery down the line.
For more information about Georgia home insurance, give Peachstate Insurance a call at 877-997-2478.