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Home Insurance Checklist

Home Insurance Checklist

Your home is one of your greatest investments, which is why it’s so important to make sure that you have the proper amount of homeowners insurance coverage to help protect you financially if you face the unexpected. Our home insurance checklist details key questions and information to gather, so when it comes time to build a policy with your agent, you’re in the know and confident that you’re getting the right level of coverage for your home.

Print out our homeowners insurance checklist to stay savvy about protecting your humble abode.

Google Play Get To Know Your Home

Having this information at your fingertips will help you save time when you meet with your agent — they’ll need this info to help design a policy that matches your needs:

✓ Number of people who live in your house full-time

✓ Is your home your primary, seasonal or secondary residence

✓ Year built

✓ Square footage

✓ Number of bathrooms

✓ Number of stories

✓ Detached structures like a shed & garage

✓ Wood stoves, fireplaces (a.k.a. solid fuel appliances)

✓ Materials used for the roof (e.g. asphalt shingles, metal, slate)

✓ Materials used for the exterior walls (e.g. brick, stone)

✓ Home inspection results

✓ Do you run a small business from your home? (If so, you may need additional protection which you might not have considered.)

Google Play Get Confident In Your Coverages

A standard homeowners policy includes the following coverages. Your agent will walk you through these coverages so you understand exactly how you’re protected:

Coverage A: Dwelling
Pays to rebuild or repair your home.

Coverage B: Other Structures
Pays for damage to detached structures on your property, such as detached garages, gazebos, sheds and fences.

Coverage C: Personal Property
Covers your personal belongings, including furniture, clothing and appliances, if they are stolen, damaged or destroyed.

Coverage D: Loss of Use (Additional Living Expense)
Pays for additional living expenses if your home is uninhabitable due to a covered loss.

Coverage E: Personal Liability
Protects you against financial loss if you are legally responsible for someone else’s injury or property damage.

Coverage F: Medical Expense
Covers medical payments to others for injuries caused by you or damages that happen on your property, regardless of your legal responsibility.

Google Play Create A Home Inventory

Homeowners insurance policies offer coverage for your personal property items up to your coverage C limit. Before meeting with your agent, it’ll be helpful to create a home inventory of the items in your home to make sure you’re properly covered.

Print out this list to create your home inventory.

Google Play Meet With Your Insurance Agent

Now that you’ve assembled your essential information, it’s time to officially get covered! Set up time to meet with your insurance agent — they’ll use their expertise to help you build a customized policy with coverages unique to your needs, including if you need additional coverages.

Here are some common questions you’ll discuss during your meeting:

  1. Typically, you’ll want to have enough coverage to rebuild your home at current construction costs (this is not the selling price of your home). This information plus your agent’s knowledge will help you figure out how much it will cost to rebuild your home.

  2. Homeowners insurance policies offer coverage up to a certain limit for your possessions. Create a home inventory that details all the items you own and include the estimated cost of replacement if they were destroyed or stolen.

  3. If so, be sure to make note and ask your agent about extra coverage that may be needed.
  4. If your stove or refrigerator, for example, are damaged as a result of a covered loss, they’ll be covered for the cost of a new item with comparable features and functionality.
  5. Make sure to take a good look at the liability coverage limit on your policy. Since liability insurance helps cover you against lawsuits for bodily injury or property damage that you, a household family member or a pet cause to another person, you may want a higher amount than what’s on your policy today.

    Your agent can help you understand how much liability insurance coverage you need for peace of mind. You may need to consider an Umbrella policy that goes above and beyond the basic liability coverage that comes as standard with a property policy.

  6. This coverage is provided with every homeowners policy. If your home becomes uninhabitable after a covered loss, loss of use coverage helps cover additional living expenses you incur, including hotel bills, restaurant meals, transportation and other living expenses that you may have.

    Increased limits are available for this coverage, and if you live in an area that’s prone to natural disasters, like hurricanes or earthquakes, it might be in your best interest to have higher limits. Talk with your agent about what’s best for you.

  7. Homeowner policies typically exclude damage from disasters like earthquakes and floods. If you live in areas that are commonly affected by these natural disasters, you may want to get added coverage to stay protected. In fact, some mortgage companies will even require you to have this insurance if you live in areas prone to these disasters. Either way, paying more for this coverage now could save you more out of your pocket in the long run.

    Hurricane coverage is available in all states, but a named storm deductible* may be required in certain high-risk counties. Take the time to discuss your options for additional peril coverage in the specific state you live in.

    *A named storm deductible applies when a hurricane or other tropical storm is severe enough to be named by the National Weather Service (NWS).

Tips for meeting with your agent:

Ask about discounts. Looking for ways to save money on your homeowners insurance policy? You probably qualify for a number of discounts. Make sure to ask your agent about all the ways you’re eligible to save!

Know what kind of deductible you want. Some of your coverages will require you to pay a deductible before your insurance company steps in to cover the cost of a loss. Weigh the pros and cons of a high or low deductible, as this will affect your premium price.

Ask questions. You want to be confident that your coverage is protecting you and your home — don’t be afraid to ask your agent questions. If you’re not sure what something means or if you don’t understand parts of your policy, your agent is the perfect person to ask.

Google Play Take Advantage of an Annual Review

As your dreams change and evolve, it’s important you’ve got the protection you need. At American Family Insurance, we want you to be confident and in control of your homeowners coverage — that’s why we recommend setting up a Personal Insurance Review to reassess your policy and confirm that your limits meet your needs. It doesn’t take long to check in with your agent and the peace of mind an updated policy brings is invaluable.

Homeowners Insurance Terms Made Simple

When navigating the homeowners insurance buying process — we admit — you’ll run into some terms that are downright confusing. Don’t worry. We’ve got your back! Check out our homeowners insurance glossary to clear up any confusion.

Then, head to our homeowners insurance coverage page to find out more about how you can properly safeguard your home from the unexpected.