Do you know what your homeowner’s insurance policy really covers? If you are like most policyholders, you more than likely do not know that your lawn equipment, shrubbery, and even pool can be covered under your policy. When you purchase insurance, the agent will ask you about everything that you own. He or she will ask about the home and other structures on the property. It is important to be as thorough as possible because if a tree falls on your shed during a powerful storm, your policy will cover the damage.
Many people update their lawn equipment or tool shed and forget to inform the insurance company about the changes. This is not always the best idea because, if something happens to the upgraded or new item, your insurance company may not cover the loss unless you have proof of purchase or upgrades. Some companies actually require you to report the property in order for them to cover it. When you sign up for your policy, it is important to discuss with your agent the reporting requirements and process. This will enable you to report all purchases that need to be reported in a timely fashion to ensure that your coverage is maintained at all times.
If equipment is stolen from your property, the insurance company may require you to make a police report before they will even consider the claim. You may not know the specifics about when the burglary took place or who took the property, but that should not deter you from making a report. You need to be able to provide the exact serial numbers to the police so that they can return the property to you if it is recovered. You want to be sure that the police officer includes the numbers in the report so it can serve as evidence to your insurance provider that the property was stolen.
It is important to realize that some insurance policies only allow you to recover the fair market value for the property. That means if you previously purchased a lawn mower for $2,000, if it can instead only be sold for $1,500 in today’s market, the insurance company will only give you $1,500 to replace the mower. You may be able to get replacement value coverage for your lawn equipment, so ask your agent.
Make a point to talk with your agent about how the insurance provider processes claims, how long it takes a claim to be filed, and if your rates will increase when you make a claim. Learning everything you can about the policy before purchasing it will allow you to rest assured that you have the coverage you need and that your property will be replaced or repaired if it is stolen or damaged. Don't hesitate to call us at 757-583-1828 if you have any questions about what is and isn't covered by your Virginia homeowners insurance.