If you are a homeowner you may have recently received your yearly tax bill. And if you live in Oregon you have noticed that number is slowly creeping up every year. Like most of us, you would prefer to keep that money in your pocket. Buying insurance isn't the first thing that comes to mind as a way to save, but if you have the wrong homeowner’s policy, your mortgage payment could be going down the drain. If you don't want to do the shopping, most mortgage companies will tack on their own policy- but it will most likely only cover their interest in your home- which means your equity and contents would not be covered. The policy would only pay the mortgage company for what you owe them not the portion of your home you already own.

What to Look For
The first thing to look for is coverage for the structure of the house itself. Walls, roof, plumbing, electrical, fixtures, etc. This coverage is not based on property value but rather the possible reconstruction cost. We all know this is probably more than we paid for our home 5-10-or 20 years age! Based on square footage, materials, labor, permits- the list goes on- many people would pay for up to 20% of these costs because of poor dwelling coverage. Many policies offer additional coverage to allow for inflation. Also worth considering is your need to replace separate structures such as a detached garage or a shed.

Secondly, if your home is damaged and your family must move out while it is being repaired or replaced- who picks up the tab? Most of us would opt-out of squeezing our kids, pets and ourselves into a small hotel room or an extended stay at the in-laws. Fortunately, homeowners policies allow for 'loss of use' while your home is being repaired- many even allowing for replacement rental income if you rent out a portion of your home.

In addition to your home, most of us have furniture, electronics, clothes, jewelry and a long list of personal items. Contents coverage is essential if you wish to replace them- additionally, homeowner’s policies provide protection for your personal items while traveling as well. Lost luggage? Stolen camera? Misplaced sunglasses? Contents coverage can help you replace these items. 

Homeowner’s policies don't just cover your home. They also can provide coverage for personal liability (injuries or property damage to others while on your property), medical payments, flood, hurricane, and tornado damage as well. Clearly it is important to discuss your concerns and options with an agent, guaranteeing that more of your hard-earned dollars stay where they should, in your pocket.

Posted 12:43 PM

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