Finding the Coverage You Need in America's Heartland

If you are a homeowner in the state of Iowa or you are about to become one, there are four important considerations that you will want to keep in mind when you are shopping for your coverage, they are price, the history of the providers you are shopping, their service levels and your personal needs.

What is Homeowner's Insurance?

This is basically a contract between you, the homeowner and a company that provides protection for you and your assets in the event of a number of unfortunate incidents that may occur. These incidents may include theft, property damage by storm or vandalism, fire, or medical injuries for people who are visiting your property. This type of protection can mean the difference between suffering a loss and having to pay tens or possibly even hundreds of thousands of dollars out of your own pocket, or just having to contend with a minimal deductible for repairs or replacement.

Choosing the Right Policy

It is important to understand some key limitations to policies before you begin shopping for them with expectations that may not be met. First, the most common (and costly) misunderstanding by most people is that their plan will protect them from flood or earthquake damage. In Iowa, standard plans do neither. Flood and earthquake insurance have to be purchased separately or added to your existing policy by speaking with your insurer. The types of floods that are covered by the standard plan are the ones that are caused by an issue in your dwelling such as a damaged water heater.

When shopping for an plan, it is important to keep in balance your coverage level and your deductible. Pay attention to the value of all of your assets and imagine the worst-case scenario for your loss and really stretch to make sure you will be completely covered in that eventuality. Your deductible should be set no higher than any amount of money that you know you can get your hands on in a reasonably short period of time (one week). You should receive quotes from several companies before you settle on one based on how comfortable the company makes you feel, some research done into their history and claims payment service, as well as the price they are offering.

Maintaining the Optimal Level of Protection

Like your auto or health insurance, your policy is something that should not be allowed to just sit and collect dust year after year. Things have a way of changing in life and those changes are likely to affect your policy as well (or they should). For example, if you remodel your dwelling, adding to its value, your current level of coverage may no longer be sufficient to pay for repairs if your residence is damaged. People tend to accumulate more "things" as they go along in life as well, including collectibles and valued irreplaceable, your personal property insurance should be increased as well to reflect this. Like a will, your coverage is something that should be reviewed annually to see if any changes are appropriate. Let your insurer know that you want to hear back from them on the anniversary of your policy so that you can discuss any needed changes.