Homeowners insurance covers your house, other structures, contents and loss of use of your house for various causes of loss as defined in the policy. It will also cover your personal liability for law suits from injuries that may occur on your property or elsewhere. Purchasing home insurance is a requirement to obtain a home mortgage. We provide homeowners insurance coverage in Chicago, Homewood, Joliet, Orland Park, as well as the whole state of Illinois. Contact William J. Goodman Insurance, Ltd today at (708)799-2655 to speak with a homeowners insurance professional. .
What is Home Insurance?
Homeowners insurance is intended to provide you with financial protection against any potential harm to your home. A standard home insurance policy covers your home itself and your possessions, but you can add additional coverages depending on your own situation. In return for a regular payment from you (called a premium), your insurance agency agrees to pay for damages to your home, as agreed upon in your policy.
Every policy has a liability limit, which sets the upper limit of how much money your policy can pay out should an incident occur. The basic limit included in the policy is typically around $100,000. We recommend purchasing higher limits that offer you more protection. Medical payments can be paid for losses and do not require law suits.
What Does Home Insurance Cover?
Most standard policies cover the house, other structures, your contents, additional living expenses incurred if you are temporarily unable to live in your home and personal liability. Homeowners have different needs and to address this there are many coverages can be added to a basic policy by endorsements. You can get the coverage you need by speaking with an agent at William J. Goodman Insurance, Ltd. .
Structure of Your Home
When selecting a homeowner’s insurance policy, the best advice to follow is to ensure you purchase enough coverage to rebuild your home and other structures such as detached garages. Look for a policy with guaranteed replacement cost coverage on your home in event of a covered loss. Open peril coverage covers more losses vs. named peril coverage. Other structures is typically set at 10% of the homes coverage limit and additional coverage can be added as needed.
Coverage for your contents/personal belongings/possessions will pay you for any damage to items such as furniture, clothes, or other personal items. This is typically 50-70% of the insurance on the structure of your home. To know whether this is enough, consult your William J. Goodman Insurance, Ltd agent.
Personal belongings may often include items that are stored off-premise. Off-premise coverage typically can go up to 10% of the total structure, so it is important to consider how many items you have stored off-premise and their total value. If you are concerned about these types of items, ask one of our experienced agents what kinds of coverage would be best for you.
Expensive items (such as jewelry, art or antiques) are covered, but your home insurance policy will dictate a dollar limit on how much you can be reimbursed for. You can purchase a special personal property endorsement to insure the item(s) for the officially appraised amount.
Liability coverage protects you against any lawsuits that may be brought against you for bodily injury or property damage caused by you or your family. This may even include damage caused by your pets. This covers both the cost of defending you, as well as any court awards against you.
Additional Living Expenses
Additional living expenses coverage pays for any costs associated with living away from home when it is uninhabitable due to a covered loss.
What is a Home Inventory?
According to the Insurance Information Institute, a home inventory is a list of all your possessions that will help verify losses for your income tax return and get insurance claims settled faster by helping you purchase the right amount of coverage. In the unfortunate case of a disaster, it may be difficult for you to remember all your possessions, particularly in such a time of emotional distress. By creating a list of everything you own, it will be easier to submit an insurance claim for the lost property.
The first step of creating a home inventory is to simply make a list of everything you own. You will want to describe each item (ie- color, age, cost) and note where you bought it. If you have them, include any sales receipts, purchase contracts or appraisals with the item on the list. When you itemize your clothing, create a count by item type (ie- t-shirts, jeans, hats, shoes) and make sure to take extra notes on particularly valuable items of clothing. For items that have a serial number, include that on the list. This will typically include electronics and appliances. A good suggestion is to take photographs or videos of your possessions to provide visual evidence. If you chose to do a video, make sure to describe the contents on the video itself. This can be useful for items such as silverware, kitchenware, and clothing. For high value items, work with your agent as they may require special insurance or endorsements. If possible, try to make a digital record. There are plenty of software and mobile apps available that can help you create a room by room record. Whenever you make a significant new purchase, add this to your list.
Although this may seem like a large task, it is extremely important to build a home inventory, so that you can ensure your possessions are kept safe even in case of disaster. Whether you’re just setting up your household or have lived in your home for a long time, don’t put off creating this list! You can also ask your William J. Goodman Insurance, Ltd agent for more information on how to develop a home inventory by calling (708) 799-2655.
According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the damage from as little as one inch of water can cost more than $20,000. Flood coverage is not part of a standard home insurance policy. Purchasing flood insurance from William J. Goodman Insurance, Ltd will help cover the costs should your home suffer damage in a flood. Similar to home insurance, flood coverage is for both the building structure and personal property. Different parts of Illinois have different flood risks, so ask your agent what level of coverage is best for you.
It is important to keep in mind that flood insurance does not cover preventable water damage such as moisture, mildew or mold. It also does not cover sewer or drain backup (unless the backup was directly caused by a flood).
Even if you don’t own your home (or apartment), it is important to protect where you live and your property. Your landlord’s insurance most likely does not cover you or your things. Renters insurance will cover things like your computer, your TV, sports equipment, your clothing and personal liability. It can even protect your possessions outside of your home, such as if you lose your laptop while at the gym. Renters insurance can also cover costs for you while repairs are made to your home or apartment.
Renters insurance is surprisingly affordable, and can become even more so when bundled with other packages. For more information, ask your William J. Goodman Insurance, Ltd agent.
Work with a Qualified Home Insurance Specialist
William J. Goodman Insurance, Ltd is one of the most established home insurance providers in Chicago, Homewood, Joliet, Orland Park, and the whole state of Illinois. As an independent agency; we work for our clients, and represent multiple insurance companies to offer you’re the best coverage and pricing. Give us a call today at (708)799-2655 and see how we can save you money while protecting your family and home!
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