South Carolina Homeowners Insurance: Why? How much? What kind? Auto Insurance South Carolina: Why? What kind? How much? What is the cost?
Nobody thinks this is the year I will lose my home to disaster. But, there are over 450,000 structural fires per year in the United States. There are thousands more homes damaged or lost to high winds. The weather service records over 20 million lighting strikes per year. There are millions of claims for other things like water loss or fallen tree damage. In the event of major disaster few people have the financial means to remove their home remains to the land fill, pay off the balance on a mortgage, and rebuild their home. As a result, home owners with inadequate insurance coverage often never fully recover from the loss of their home. Proper Insurance shifts the financial risk of damage or loss of your home to the insurance company. With proper South Carolina homeowners insurance, for example, you can financially make it through disaster, and, live better than ever. With proper insurance you can sleep well knowing property damage is not something you have to worry about.
How much insurance do you need?
Insurance pays to repair or replace your home. This is a construction cost and not market value. The land your home is on will still be there after a total home loss. Generally, construction costs are between $120 and $200 per square foot. The difference is due to location and materials used in construction. An insurance professional can help you determine an appropriate cost for your home. For example, if your 1200 square foot home would cost $160 per square foot to rebuild then you should insure the home for $192,000. This is the cost per square foot times the square feet. Insuring for more than true replacement increases premium costs with no benefits. Under insuring your home exposes you to significant risk. If you have not updated your replacement value in 20 years you may be 50% under insured. In this case you may only get 50% of what is required to repair damage or replace your home if you have a claim.
The homeowners insurance Charleston, SC residents get should include liability coverage to protect the home owner from law suit. Any coverage is better than no coverage but $300,000 is recommended. In our litigious society you never know when someone will sue. A door to door salesman falls on the front steps? There are risks every day.
What kind of coverage do you need?
There are three types of home insurance. These are Actual Cash Value, Replacement Cost, and Guaranteed Replacement Cost.
Actual Cash Value pays you for the cash value of what is lost minus deductions for wear or depreciation. You may not get what you expect for an old roof, old AC unit or structure with pre-existing problems.
Replacement Cost Insurance pays the cost of replacing damaged property without any depreciation, but, has a maximum dollar limit. Know what the limit is. This limit is normally only a problem after an area wide disaster when materials become scarce and people compete for limited contractors as after a hurricane.
Guaranteed Replacement Cost pays the cost of replacing damaged property without deprecation or dollar limits where available. Some insurance companies have caps like 120% of the replacement cost.
Make sure you know how your coverage is calculated and what the limits are to ensure you get the coverage you need.