Looking to buy homeowners insurance? Here’s what you need to know:
1. You must be the legal owner with a financial interest in any property you seek to insure. This is called insurable interest and if you don’t have it, your policy may be considered void from inception. Put another way, you can’t insure something you don’t own.
2. Consider the value of your property carefully, especially the value of the building. You are responsible for telling the insurance company what your home is worth, and you may want to get an independent valuation. If you do not insure it for the full value, any claim may be reduced by the amount of the underinsurance. The value that you declare to the insurance company is called the Sum Insured.
3. Complete a proposal form (insert link) with all the material facts relating to the property being insured. Answer all the questions and sign in the required places. Remember that the proposal form is the basis of the contract between you and the company and it must be accurate in all respects.
4. Ask about the various limits under the policy – all insurance policies have limits. In some cases, you can ask for higher limits for a modest increase in premium.
5. Make a list of the major items to be insured and take photographs, especially of any unusual or expensive items of equipment. Share this with your insurer – it will be very helpful at the time of any loss.
6. Make sure you tell your insurance company if there is a mortgage on your property.
7. You will also have to present a nationally accepted form of identification and proof of address – normally a utility bill.
Remember, your home is very likely your most significant asset, so make sure it is protected.
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