Homeowner’s Insurance Tips from an Expert

Living in the Santa Monica Mountains for over 30 years I know fires and have been evacuated twice.
So, I take insurance seriously.
I like the calm feeling of having insurance but try not to add up exactly how much I pay for all of it. When I get the bill I usually ask close friends how much they are paying.
Do you do the same?
What I should do is make sure I have the coverage I need as things change and after a loss is not when I want to find out an oversight. So I called my insurance guy, Rick McMichael for some pointers.


His advice:

There are many options and endorsements that are offered by your carrier. In addition to reviewing your dwelling coverage and personal property amounts with your agent on a regular basis here are a few tips to make sure a sudden loss does not leave you frustrated because you were not informed. 

Most homeowner policies include the basics like building coverage and personal items, but did you know there are usually severe limitations on items like jewelry, oriental rugs, silver, coin collections, art work and modern electronic equipment?
It is your duty to ask your agent what is and is not covered by the policy and what can be added by endorsement for a nominal fee depending on the item and the value. Also your company may offer extras like identity theft coverage or increased building ordinance coverage for older homes to make sure you have enough coverage to rebuild according to current building codes.

The options are many and you need to ask your agent what is available so you can make the right choices. 

When you receive your annual bill make it a habit to call your agent for any changes in your policy as well as options available.


If you buy a condo today your lender will likely require you to carry an insurance policy known as an HO6, or “walls in coverage” which provides for liability & personal property as well as “building coverage” to supplement the Master Policy for the Association.
Typically most master policies stop their coverage at the interior walls of each unit & therefore lenders want the borrower to provide “walls in” coverage up to 20% of the appraised value. The building coverage in an HO6 provides for additions and alterations to your unit such as built-in appliances, cabinetry, wall, window & floor treatments that the association makes your insurance responsibility. 

The buyer needs to work with their agent & lender to reach a desired amount that will satisfy all parties in case of a loss.

Buying insurance is a balance between protecting yourself in a loss and your budget. I see far too many under insured cases when doing refinances. Have you checked your coverage in the last 12 months?

Talk to your agent.  If you need one you trust looks out for you get a good referral.

Questions about credit, mortgages or commercial loans?
Ask David Garrett  
310 456-1056

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