Home insurance is something that most homeowners have, but yet which is often undervalued and not given the importance it deserves.There are many factors that homeowners should keep in mind when acquiring home insurance. Below are four main considerations that should be carefully reviewed as you purchase insurance coverage.

1) Make sure you are truly aware of the difference between ACV and RCV (RV). ACV is actual cost value. If your home is damaged or destroyed, you'll get something, but it won't be enough to fix it so that it's like new. On the other hand, RCV or RV is replacement cost value. If you have RCV coverage, you'll get enough to restore the home to its like new condition. You still have to pay close attention to your limits because not all RCV policies take inflation into account and you still may not be given enough to build a new home or restore it to its pre-loss condition. Know your policy.

2) Personal property is often devalued in consumers' minds. People look at their belongings and think that $10,000 is more than ample. Don't assume. It's surprising how quickly possessions add up. Do an inventory and make sure your personal property limits are adequate.

3) Document, document, document! Never assume that an insurer is going to take your word for the value of your home or its contents. People who suffered through the hurricanes in Florida a few years back learned that lesson very well. They were asked to provide proof for possessions and goods that they'd lost the paperwork for in the devastation, assuming they'd even kept it. Do a video inventory of each room of your home. Keep receipts for everything of value that you own. Take pictures. Think like an insurer. They want proof, and it's up to you to provide it. Also, keep a copy of these records at an off-site location, such as with a trusted family member, friend, or in a safety deposit box.

4) Consider the elements. Regulations vary depending on location, but there are earthquake and flood zones all across the country. If you live in one of these, take care to evaluate your decision to accept or decline this insurance coverage when offered. We've seen how these disastrous events happen all over and with horrendous results. An insurer is a business, and if you haven't added the right coverage(s) to your policy, you'll be out in the cold.

If you have questions about any of these subjects, be sure to research the topics more thoroughly or check with your insurance agent. Insurance can be a complicated business and where your home and possessions are concerned, you can't afford to take chances. Take the time to ensure that the coverage you have is appropriate. If you have special items, like antiques, jewelry, or artwork, you'll need special riders. Leave nothing to chance, and don't forget to keep your records up to date with any new purchases or improvements you make.

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