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Homeowners Insurance Policy Reminders

As a California resident, you need to be prepared for natural disasters by understanding your insurance policy. Homeowners should know if their insurance policy covers additional incurred expenses from a mandatory evacuation, for example. Plus, there can be changes in regulations and laws regarding insurance coverage. Therefore, consumers need to keep themselves informed before a natural disaster occurs in their area.

Maintain Adequate Insurance

Homeowners should check to see if their policy adequately protects their home if a natural disaster should occur. Pick a policy with adequate policy limits so you can rebuild the home to its original stature after the disaster occurs.

Review Policy Regularly

Review your policy with your agent or insurance company on a regular basis. You may need to increase the amount of protection on your policy, for example, if you’ve made a recent upgrade/ remodel to your property.

Types of Insurance Policies

Learn the difference between a replacement cost policy, which generally provides for the repair or replacement of damaged covered personal property items, and an actual cash value policy, that will only provide reimbursement for the depreciated value of the covered personal property item.

Reconstruction and Restoration Costs

It is important to consider the current construction costs for building new homes in your neighborhood. For example, if you own an older home, you should ask if your policy includes coverage for building code upgrades. Many insurers offer an optional enhanced replacement cost endorsement. This endorsement typically adds an additional 25 percent to the coverage limit for your dwelling. Even if the homeowners policy has an inflation guard that adjusts to increase the dwelling coverage limit, check to make sure that the amount is adequate to repair and rebuild the home.

Keep an Inventory

The more detail you have concerning your home’s assets the better off you?ll be. Photograph or videotape all your personal items. Keep receipts for major purchases and keep records of the age, current value, make, model and serial number of your personal property. Keep your inventory and a copy of your policy at another location.

Bogus Insurance Policies

Consumers are at risk of getting a policy that will put them at risk. Always, confirm the validity of your insurance coverage. The recent arrest of Dean Joseph Basler, of Ventura, is a reminder to consumers to investigate their policies. Dean Joseph Basler, a licensed agent, allegedly collected premiums for homeowner insurance coverage but failed to place the policies with an insurance company. Many of Dean’s clients lived in high fire dangers areas.

Homeowners need to ensure they receive an actual policy from an insurance company and read the policy carefully to verify the coverage they purchased. A certificate of insurance is not sufficient proof that a policy is in force.

  • Always check the license status of the agent/broker before you purchase insurance. You can check status by going to
  • Confirm the validity of your policy with the insurance?company, not the broker or agent.
  • Be aware that claims are paid from the insurance?company and not the agent.
  • Pay your insurance premium by check. Make checks?payable to the insurance company not the agent or the agency. Obtain a?receipt.
  • Never pay your insurance premium in cash. Think twice?if the agent/broker insists on cash payment.
  • Obtain copies of the documents relating to your?insurance transaction.
  • If you believe you are the victim of a dishonest?insurance agent, call the Department of Insurance at 800-927-4357.

Stay Informed

There are many resources to help homeowners and residents stayed informed on insurance news, laws and regulations.

We are alert and ready to make it new again. Alert Disaster Restoration believes in providing the highest level of customer service, which is why we offer to manage the mortgage loss claim process for our customers. Alert Disaster Restoration is an independent firm serving California with branch offices and Partner Members. ADR is a full service disaster restoration contractor.

Information provided by California Department of Insurance and the Association for California Insurance Companies.