Winter is here and that means snow and wind and all the wonders that the Ohio weather can bring. Unfortunately, it’s also the time of year that we hear stories of people discovering that their homeowner’s insurance in Canfield OH didn’t cover them for as much as they had expected, leaving them with huge unanticipated expenses.

The High Cost of Fine Print

So before the next big storm hits, be proactive about protecting yourself and your home from damage. You may not be able to escape the weather, but you can be better prepared by reviewing your homeowner’s policy to make sure you’re adequately protected. Wouldn’t you rather know what’s covered and what’s not now rather than later, when you have to file a claim and find out the insurer won’t pay?

4 Mistakes You’ll Want to Avoid When Choosing Homeowner’s Insurance in Canfield OH

As you read through your homeowner’s policy, see if you’re making any of these mistakes and take the appropriate steps if you are.

Mistake #1: Underinsuring your house. Insurance experts say failing to have enough insurance to cover the cost of rebuilding your house if it’s destroyed is the biggest mistake homeowners make.

Why? For one thing, many homeowners buy only enough insurance to cover the amount of their mortgage. But the mortgage may be, at most, 80 or 90 percent of the value of the house, depending on the original down payment.

For another, some policyholders insure an amount equal to the current value of their homes. But this figure may be far less than the actual cost of rebuilding your house, including labor and supplies, and both of those may rise sharply after a storm when there are high demand and short supply.

Mistake #2: Assuming you have flood insurance. This coverage is not part of a standard homeowners contract. If you live near a lake, river, floodplain or the ocean, you should definitely buy it.

But coastal area homes aren’t the only ones that need flood insurance. Inland areas near water can sustain serious flood damage from groundwater too. Flood insurance isn’t difficult to get; it’s a federal program that accepts everybody who wants the coverage.

Mistake #3: Thinking you have one, flat deductible. You might believe your maximum out-of-pocket cost would be $500, $1,000 or whatever amount you said when you bought your policy, but you could be wrong.

If your house is insured for $300,000, but you sustain damage in a windstorm, you could be socked with a $15,000 deductible when you file your claim. Ask your agent or insurer if your policy has different deductibles, depending on the cause of damage.

Mistake No. 4: Believing your home is covered for mold or sewage backup. Many homeowner’s insurance policies don’t offer this protection or have claim limits. Inquire about additional coverage for protection from mold or sewage backup, which is often a problem in large downpours.

The cost of coverage for sewage backup isn’t terribly expensive, but mold insurance can run much higher if you can find it. So, evaluate your risks to determine if you need mold protection. Odds are you do if your house is old and it was built without mold-resistant materials; the newer the home, the more likely it’s been made with them.

Despite the high cost, mold coverage could be a worthwhile expense since the cost of removal is quite high. And insurance, after all, is to protect you against large expenses.

If you are interested in learning more about homeowner’s insurance in Canfield OH, call our office or stop by today. We’ll be happy to help you avoid these costly mistakes!