Are you a homeowner? A renter? Even if you have insurance, your policy might not cover everything you think it does. Check out these important tips from the Colorado Division of Insurance to make sure you have the right coverage, and know what to do after disaster hits:
1. The Colorado Division of Insurance provides a free “home inventory list” that you can use to record what you own. Send a copy of this list to yourself in an email, along with photos and any receipts, serial numbers or other information you would need to file a claim. Download a copy here: www.dora.state.co.us/insurance/consumer/homemain.htm.
2. Remember: Traditional homeowner’s policies do not cover flood damage. If your home is built on a flood plain, it’s a good idea to purchase flood insurance and is required if you have a mortgage. Also, flood insurance doesn’t go into effect until 30 days after it is purchased, so don’t wait until you see the water rising to call an agent.
3. It is recommended that you purchase replacement cost coverage for your home rather than actual cash value. In most cases, the cost difference between policies is small and the benefits large. Additionally, request a recalculation of the replacement cost value once a year because the automatic increases provided by a policy might not be enough to maintain adequate coverage amounts.
4. Do an annual check-up with your insurance company to be sure you cover any increases in cost of labor and materials, additions to the home and any special purchases, such as art and jewelry, that may need to be insured separately.
5. If you have any special items like art, jewelry or collections (such as stamps or coins), be sure these are covered. Photos and/or proof of their value, such as receipts or professional appraisals will streamline the claims process.
6. When it comes to the deductible — the amount you have to pay if there is a loss — usually the higher it is, the lower the premium. It’s normal to consider raising a deductible to save on premium, but remember, the bill will be that much more following a claim.
For more information, visit the Division of Insurance online at www.dora.state.co.us/insurance.