As the end of the year approaches and in light of the recent hurricane it’s a good time to take stock of your insurance coverage. Here is some expert advice from Michael Feinberg of Personal Risk Management Solutions, a boutique personal insurance brokerage focused on the unique needs of successful individuals and families.
*It seems obvious but read your homeowner’s policy and understand what it covers and doesn’t cover.
*Make sure you are covering the proper items. Is your vehicle information correct on all of your policies—auto, home and excess liability? Is your valuable articles coverage for items such as silver and jewelry accurate and comprehensive?
*Mind the gap! Beware of gaps in coverage between your underlying policies (home and auto) and excess liability policy. For example, if your auto insurance covers you for up to $100,000 in damages and your excess liability kicks in at $300,000 in damages who will pay the gap in coverage? The answer is: you. This is especially important if you have your policies with different companies.
*Are your deductibles reasonable? Homeowner’s insurance policies may have different deductibles for different types of damage. For example, Michael has a client who had $10,000 in repairs from Hurricane Sandy. Unfortunately, he had an $8,000 deductible for “wind damage”.
*The best scenario is to purchase policy with “full replacement value”. This insures that in a catastrophe the insurer will pay for the cost to rebuild your home based on what it costs to rebuild it. This value may far exceed your home’s market value.
*Purchasing coverage through a broker who knows your local market and writes policies for premiere insurance companies can increase the likelihood that you will have a favorable and timely response from your insurer.