Few topics relating to real estate are less scintillating or more critical than homeowners insurance. Remember Sandy?
Even if a terrible storm doesn’t ruin your home or its contents, anyone who has experienced a loss will vouch for the importance of homeowners or renters insurance.
If your eyes haven’t already glazed over, here in a nutshell are items in a homeowners policy that merit attention:
- Exclusions. Don’t take for granted coverage for floods, mold damage, high-value items, food spoilage and equipment used for work at home;
- Deductibles. Ponder how much your bank account can stand, how willing you will be to bear the consequence of a claim even above a deductible and whether you are covered for wind damage;
- Hidden clauses. Note any clause that may limit the money you’ll receive if the damage or loss has more than one cause simultaneously, of which one (say, flood) pays less or nothing;
- Unexpected maximums. If there’s a disaster and high demand forces a rise in construction costs, your out-of-pocket costs could skyrocket in the event your policy doesn’t guarantee full replacement costs. By the same token, compliances with building codes that are upgraded could hit your wallet hard any time you file a claim;
- Payments. Shop around and compare apples to apples to get the best price for a policy.
Renters policies are less problematic, but it is important, as the non-profit United Policyholders organization maintains, that you wade through the verbiage to be sure you are covered for the amount of risk you are unwilling to accept.
Boring as insurance may be to contemplate, you’ll be pretty pleased to have done the work of acquiring the right policy should the need arise.
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Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
Senior Vice President
Charles Rutenberg Realty
127 E. 56th Street
New York, NY 10022