Covering the Gaps

Saturday, January 12, 2008; F03

Some insurance tips for homeowners and renters:
• Condominium owners should compare the insurance provided under the community’s master policy to their personal homeowners insurance, looking for gaps that could leave them without enough coverage. Inquire about whether your insurer would cover an unexpected and expensive special assessment.
• Make a record of the contents of your home with a written list of items backed up by photos or a video. The Insurance Information Institute has free downloadable software at http://www.knowyourstuff.org that it says can help owners tally the value of personal property.
• Your standard homeowners policy probably does not cover floods. Inquire about a policy under the National Flood Insurance Program.
• Ask your insurer whether you are covered for the replacement cost of your items or for the actual cash value. A replacement-cost policy provides you enough money to replace the damaged item. Under an actual-value policy, you would receive the depreciated value of the item, not the cost of replacing it.

SOURCE: Insurance Information Institute