Consumer Reports: Smarter home insurance

EMBED </>More Videos

You probably never think about your homeowners insurance. But Consumer Reports says you should and not just when disaster strikes. (WLS)

You probably never think about your homeowners insurance. But Consumer Reports says you should and not just when disaster strikes. There are new twists to homeowners insurance that can save you money and cover you better.

Tim and Deb Gagliano are looking for a house to buy. They know a lot of their savings will be tied up in it and they worry about protecting that.

"Your home is your biggest investment," Tim Gagliano said.

"You really just want to make sure that you're prepared for the unexpected things that can happen. Fires and floods and trees coming down in your pool," Deb Gagliano said.

Big-ticket items like a tree falling on your house usually are covered by home insurance. What you may not know is a lot of quirky events like damage from a drone may also be covered.

Another example? You could get as much as $5,000 in insurance if vandals damage a family headstone. Or what if your dog damages property or bites someone? Might depend on the breed, but that could be covered, too.

Be aware your property is also likely to be covered when it's not in your home. For instance, in a child's dorm room or in your car.

"One caution: many people pay for smaller losses themselves because they worry that their premiums will go up if they make a claim. But according to a survey of our readers that doesn't happen all the time," said Margot Gilman, Consumer Reports.

Of the 2,500 survey respondents whose claim was less than $5,000, more than half did not see a premium increase. So you might consider filing for smaller losses like minor roof or tree damage.

Keep in mind though, that each policy is unique making it difficult to predict if your premium will stay the same after a claim.

Another common warning: making too many claims in a short time may cause the insurance company not to renew your policy.

Another tip is if you need flood insurance or are in an earthquake- or hurricane-prone area, you will probably need to get separate policies to cover that kind of damage.

All Consumer Reports material Copyright 2017 Consumer Reports, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Consumer Reports is a not-for-profit organization which accepts no advertising. It has no commercial relationship with any advertiser or sponsor on this site. For more information visit consumer.org
Related Topics:
homeinsuranceconsumer reportshome

Load Comments