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Homeowners Insurance - Florida Residents, Understand Your Policy

Many people especially first time home buyers should take the following advice when it comes to getting new Sarasota homeowners insurance: read the fine print before signing.

New homeowners tend to simply go for the cheapest price when it comes to homeowners insurance. Just ask anyone affected by hurricane Irene if that strategy paid off. A common feeling of “nothing ever happens were I live” can lead to just signing up for the least expensive policy. However many homeowners will fins out the hard way that a basic homeowners policy can have many short comings – it may only cover damage done in a very specific set of circumstances, have very high deductibles, and no standard homeowners insurance policy will cover flood damage at all.

The only time a homeowner has to ensure that their policy will protect their financial future against damage to their house is when they are selecting which policy to purchase.

Homeowners insurance policies can be pages long with many paragraphs of fine print. Much of the language in the policy is written in legalese and insurance jargon only a trained insurance agent will fully understand. As Such it is highly advisable to only purchase your homeowners policy from an experienced independent insurance agent who can fully understand and explain your coverage protection so you are not left liable for tens of thousands of dollars in damage and repairs to your home when the unthinkable happens.

Below is some information every homeowner should inquire about with their insurance gent while purchasing their homeowners policy:

The "Act of God" Clause: Related to natural disasters like hurricanes, earthquakes or tornadoes. Some policies cover claims resulting from wind, hail, lightning and other "acts of God," while others specifically exclude these perils. Always ask your agent whether you have coverage for natural or environmental incidents.

The Actual Cash Value or Replacement Value: Of all the confusing terms likely to be encountered when purchasing homeowners insurance, the question of whether to insure for Actual Cash Value (ACV) or Replacement Value is one of the most important you will make. ACV is the replacement cost of the item when the incident occurs minus the depreciation. Replacement value is the full cost to repair or replace the property without deducting for depreciation. Depending upon the age of the property or items insured, the difference can represent tens of thousands of dollars in the event of a major loss.

Insurance Deductible: A deductible is simply the amount you will pay out of pocket before the insurance company begins to pay on a claim. It is often possible to lower the cost of insurance premiums by selecting a higher deductible; just be sure to set aside the savings to cover the cost of the deductible in the event of a claim.

Depreciation: Since all items tend to wear out, become obsolete or need repair over time, they are said to depreciate or lose value. ACV pays a claim based upon the depreciated value. posted by Jim Valek on Mon., Dec 19th, 2011 in Homeowners Insurance insurance agencies



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