Home is about security. Safety. It’s where you can unwind after a long day of work, catch up with your loved ones, and spend time in a place that promotes rest and rejuvenation. Homeowners insurance is also about security. Sometimes in life, things just happen. A powerful windstorm causes a tree to collapse on your roof. A short in the wiring leads to a fire. You need the security to know that, in case of a catastrophe, you and your family can rebuild.

However, everybody has different needs when it comes to the protection of home and hearth. You know that home insurance isn’t a one-size fits all concept, but how can you be sure you’re buying the right policy? Yesterday, we shared a few tips to help you get the best policy for the least amount of money, and today, we’d like to share a few more.

  • If you read yesterday’s tips, you know that we strongly recommend making a list of all your possessions that includes receipts and other proofs of value. Now, assuming you made that list, where is it? We hope you didn’t stash it in a shoebox in your closet, because in the event of a fire, it won’t do you any good. Consider putting the list inside a fireproof safe, along with a copy of your mortgage, insurance policy, and any other important family papers. Another option is to get a safe deposit box at your bank and store your paperwork there.
  • If there’s one thing that happens far more frequently than it should, it’s that people buy an insurance policy but they don’t really understand what is and is not covered. We get it, the verbiage used by insurance companies isn’t just a little confusing, it’s nearly impenetrable. A reputable insurance company should be able to explain, simply and precisely, everything covered by your policy. You can also take it to a real estate lawyer, accountant, anyone who is paid to write and decipher legalese.
  • It’s no exaggeration to say that going through a disaster at your home is a literally traumatic experience. On the one hand, it’s very difficult to process an event like a fire or a flood, and most people need some time to bounce back. But on the other hand, speed is the name of the game when you’re filing an insurance claim. You want to get the process moving as quickly as possible so that you can begin to rebuild. When you’re buying a policy, make sure your insurance broker explains to you exactly what steps you should take. If you know what to do ahead of time, you’ll perform more efficiently during a real crisis.
  • Finally, remember that insurance should ultimately be about people getting the help that they need. When you’re shopping for an insurance carrier, it shouldn’t just be about getting the best price. Make sure your insurance company has people that will respond in an emergency, answer your questions, and provide strong service across the board. Too often, the companies that provide the cheapest policies are also the ones that you can’t easily reach quickly and won’t offer help when you really need it.