Do you know exactly what your homeowners’ insurance covers? Are you covered in the event of a flood? What about an earthquake? Use these tips and do your research to make sure you’ve got all your bases covered when it comes time to pull out that policy.
Rumble down below Californians aren’t the only ones who have to worry about earthquakes. Did you know that Oklahoma is the second-most seismically active state? Or that a major fault line runs through the Midwest? Look into earthquake coverage if your home is built on shaky ground.
In deep water? Flooding can happen anywhere—from the drought-ravaged Southwest to the hurricane-friendly East Coast—yet most homeowners’ policies exclude flooding. Flood insurance might be something you want to add to your coverage before the next big rain.
Full coverage What if you have to replace the contents of your home in case of a fire, tornado or even a break-in? You’ll need to know the difference (PDF) between replacement-cost coverage and actual-cash-value coverage. The type of cost coverage in your policy can have a huge impact on your reimbursement.
Don’t forget the “small stuff” If you own valuable items such as jewelry, musical instruments, high-end electronics or bicycle equipment, you might want to get extra coverage to cover your extra-special stuff.
Photographic evidence Insurance experts recommend videotaping or taking photos of your entire house before a catastrophe so it’s easier to remember everything during what can be a devastating time for you and your family.