Check Your Homeowners Insurance - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

THURSDAY, September 24, 2009

Check Your Homeowners Insurance

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If you think your homeowners insurance has you covered, listen up! Insurers are cutting back coverage but at the same time raising deductibles and premiums. That, according to Consumer Reports, who says many companies are even checking your credit record to decide what they'll charge you. If you haven't reviewed your policy recently, Consumer Reports says now's the time to do it.

Hurricane-force winds, fire, and flooding. For disasters like these, you truly need reliable insurance for your home. But Consumer Reports says many people don't. That's the finding of a Consumer Reports National Research Center survey on insuring your home.

The problems included delayed payments, payouts that were smaller than expected, and some claims that were denied entirely.

Those who reported the most problems with claims were with Farmer's Insurance, Allstate, and Traveler's - all major insurance carriers. And Consumer Reports finds many insurance companies are cutting back coverage.

Some are imposing high deductibles for windstorm damage. You might not be covered any longer for mold or dog bites. So you better check your policy to see what's covered.

Key is checking what coverage you'll have if your house is destroyed.  Insurers are cutting back here, too. 'Guaranteed replacement cost coverage,' which pays the total bill to rebuild regardless of the price, is very hard to get, and where it's available it's very expensive.

Consumer Reports recommends comparison shopping for insurance every five years. Some good sites - netquote.com and insweb.com.

And check that the policy includes adjustments for inflation.

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