Give Yourself an Insurance Check-up — November 2012, reviewed January 2013

We buy insurance to manage this risk when a disaster occurs like a fire, tornado or flood. How long has it been since you’ve reviewed your homeowners or renter’s insurance policy to be familiar with what your coverage is?

The first question should be is ‘what type of coverage do I have?’  Check for the following:

A homeowner’s insurance policy covers the structure, belongings and legal obligations if someone is injured at your home. A renter’s policy does not insure the structure, but otherwise provides similar coverage.

Check the type of replacement value provided by the policy either actual cash value or replacement value. Actual cash value is the amount it would take to repair damage to a home or to replace it contents after allowing for depreciation. Replacement cost is the actual amount it would take to rebuild or replace a home and its contents.

What are the liability limits which protect you legally if a non-resident visits, has an accident and gets hurt. With a few exceptions, such as auto or boating accidents, all-purpose liability coverage follows wherever you go. An umbrella policy can increase the liability limits if necessary.

A final coverage detail is medical payment coverage for injuries occurring on your property or in your rental by visiting non-residents. It may also cover medical expenses of another person injured by you, a member of your family, or a family pet while away from home.

It’s valuable to know your insurance coverage in case of disaster, both large and small!  More details of an insurance check-up are available on the Minnesota Department of Commerce website