Make Sure You Have Enough Homeowners/Condo Insurance
Recent fires continue to remind us that homeowner’s insurance is essential. Homeowner’s insurance coverage changes as rebuilding costs and home values fluctuate in Northern Colorado, so it’s critical to review your policy at regular intervals with your insurance carrier.
How Do You Determine Coverage?
Homeowners insurance is really a collection of different kinds of coverage such as fire, theft, liability and hail all wrapped up into a single policy.
Your insurance company will likely require you to purchase coverage that insures 80% of the replacement value of your home. It will also take into consideration everything that you have inside the home.
Your coverage should be based on the square footage of your home, but it must also factor in how much it will to rebuild in case of disaster. Rebuilding costs in Northern Colorado are higher than the national average, so use a local agent who is familiar with our area!
Some Marshall Fire victims had insurance that covered just $200 per square foot for rebuilding. Local costs are currently $300-350/ square foot.
Do You Have Enough Coverage?
Get current information about what your home is worth today, and how much it would cost to rebuild it. Again, local rebuilding costs are high…very high! If you bought a long time ago, you might want to reach out to your agent just to double check how much they think your home is worth. If you are not clear on your home’s value, please reach out to me and I can estimate the market value of your home.
If you’ve got a special art collection, fancy bikes, specialized computer equipment, expensive jewelry let your agent know. You might want additional riders to cover them.
What About Flood Insurance?
In Northern Colorado you might not need flood insurance, but talk to your agent about your risk level. Many people didn’t have flood insurance in 2013 because they were out of the zone compelling them to purchase it. Their houses still flooded…and regular homeowner’s insurance does not cover floods.
In our last home we were not compelled to carry flood insurance (it would have been $1,500/ year if it were required!) However, we were close enough to a creek that we voluntarily bought it for closer to $300/ year. My husband is a smarty pants engineer and insisted on it.
I thought it was annoying to waste money on something we didn’t need. Kind of anti-frugal, and frankly it was a point of contention. And yet…the house flooded for the first time in its 80-year existence the fall after we sold it.
Have I mentioned my husband is never wrong about safety items and risk assessments? I’m fairly certain he does not read my blog, so I’m comfortable admitting that here…just don’t tell him I’ve noticed!
I'm Libby Earthman. I specialize in helping first-time buyers and sellers pursue financial security on the Northern Front Range.
825 Delaware Ave, Suite 208
Longmont, CO 80501