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How Do You Know If You Have Enough of The Right Kind of Insurance?

A Guide for Homeowners regarding Fire Insurance

Do you have enough of the right kind of insurance? If you get hit by a disaster - fire, flood, earthquake, will your home and possessions be covered? How do you know if you are truly protected?

Insurers claim it is the responsibility of the homeowner to determine the appropriate levels of insurance for their property. However, your insurance agent or broker will not know your property and your possessions as well as you do. You need to accept the responsibility to properly insure your house.

If you do not purchase the appropriate amounts of coverage, the loss will be yours to suffer.

Back in 2003 and 2007, homeowners throughout San Diego County suffered devastating losses of their homes. Multiple fires raged in all regions of the County and people helplessly watched as their homes and possessions turned to ashes.

Now, years after the fires, homeowner's losses continue to increase and many have not been able to re-build. The main reason for the increase of loss is due to the widespread issue of homeowners being underinsured.

These San Diego county fire survivors have learned a very important lesson. Relying upon their insurance agent or insurance company to set the limits of their policy was not a good idea. It only hurts the homeowner, without repercussion to the insurance agent or insurance company.

How can you prevent this from occurring?

There are several coverage areas that need to be considered. Some of the areas to review are:

  • Replacement Cost versus Actual Cash Value
  • Guaranteed Replacement Cost
  • How to determine the real replacement cost value of your property
  • Do not base the replacement cost limits on the amount of your mortgage
  • Is all of your personal property correctly insured
  • Do you have extensive or expensive landscaping, trees, plants or shrubs that need to have higher limits?

More Stories By Ron Reitz

Author Bio - Ronald R. Reitz, CPPA, President of Quality Claims Management, http://www.qualityclaims.com, pioneered the National Hazard Insurance Claims business of GMAC-RFC (now GMAC-ResCap). Mr. Reitz left GMAC-ResCap in January 2007 after ten years of managing the Insurance Services group. He is the past President of the California Association of Public Insurance Adjusters (CAPIA) and is currently an officer on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Public Insurance Adjusters (NAPIA) www.napia.com. Recognized as a leading expert on hazard claims, he is serving on many industry panels, as well as providing consulting and training services industry-wide

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