|There are a number of ways to purchase Homeowners Insurance in Missouri. You may be able to buy it at your bank or credit union. You can buy it over the Internet from numerous websites. You can call an 800 number and buy it over the phone directly from an homeowners insurance company. You can call an insurance agent. The choices are many, and the challenge to purchase the Best Homeowners Insurance to meet your needs is not as easy as many believe.
In the midst of all the insurance commercials and advertisements, it may seem that homeowners insurance is just a commodity–a product that is the same at every company. It’s not. Homeowners Insurance policies in Missouri can be very different and have very different cost.
With hundreds of homeowners insurance companies and the many different policies, the best homeowners insurance purchase decision is often made with the help of a professional insurance agent. Our insurance agents are ready to help.
We find the best Homeowners Coverage For You
Your home is probably your most valuable asset. It is also a huge risk for you financially.
What if something happens to it? A fire? A flood? Vandalism? Will your insurance policy actually pay for the damage? Will it pay for ALL of it?
What if someone visiting you slips and falls and suffers a serious injury? And sues you? An accident like that could put a dent — or worse — in your financial security.
For most people, insurance is a mystery. They know they need to have insurance for their homes (mortgage lenders require it), but they don’t understand the protection provided by the policy. And, more importantly, they don’t understand what their policy does NOT cover and what to do about that.
All homeowner’s insurance is not created equal. In fact, almost none of it is. There are thousands of different products out there, from hundreds of insurance companies. And your policy includes literally dozens of options and decisions you must make that determine how much insurance protection you actually have. Your home policy is not a commodity. It’s something tailored specifically to your needs and desires
Six Primary Coverages Provided By Your Home Policy
Your home policy protects you in six primary ways. You’ll find these listed on your policy’s “Declarations” page. Here’s what they mean to you.
The word Dwelling in your home policy essentially refers to your home itself. It includes attached structures, as well … like an attached garage. The Dwelling Limit (or Amount of Insurance) stated on your Declarations page indicates the most the insurance company will pay to replace your home if it’s destroyed by a covered claim. Is it enough?
Warning: Don’t make the mistake of thinking your home is fully covered just because you have an insurance policy! You must make sure your Dwelling Limit is enough to rebuild your home. How?
Contact our office and one of our agents can run a replacement cost estimate that calculates the cost to rebuild your particular home. Be sure to adjust the amount of insurance for your dwelling appropriately. If you don’t you may not have enough insurance to replace your home if disaster strikes.
Note: Some policies include built-in protection above the stated Dwelling Limit – usually a percentage of the Dwelling – just in case the estimate is too low. Be sure to discuss this with us as an additional protection feature. It’s probably worth having.
2. Other Structures
The most common Other Structures are sheds, stand-alone garages (known as “detached” garages in insurance terms), barns, pool houses, etc. These structures are not directly attached to your home, the “dwelling”.
Other Structures have their own protection limit – the most your company will pay to rebuild them – as stated on your Declarations page. This limit will be significantly less than the dwelling limit … usually 10% – 20% of the dwelling
For most people that’s plenty of insurance for other structures. But not for everyone. You need to know what it would cost to rebuild or replace those structures if they’re destroyed. Discuss it with the licensed professionals in our office. You can buy more protection for your other structures if you need it.
3. Personal Property
Your personal property is all your stuff – furniture, clothing, electronics, appliances, etc. It, too, has its own protection limit stated on your Declarations page. And, again, this amount is the most the insurance company will pay to replace your personal property.
Your personal property limit is usually 70% – 75% of your dwelling limit. However, you can adjust this upward if you need more protection, Discuss your options with us. We’re here to help!
Regardless of the protection limit for your personal property, there’s a very important question you must get answered. How is your property protected … on an “actual cash value” basis or a “replacement cost” basis? The difference is huge!
In very basic terms, if your property is protected on a replacement cost basis the insurance company will replace your old stuff with new stuff. For example, if your 5-year old TV is destroyed in a covered claim, the company will pay for a brand new TV. That’s a good deal for you.
But if your property is protected on actual cash value basis, an “allowance for depreciation” is applied to the cost of a new TV based on the age of your destroyed TV. The result is you get a settlement amount less than the cost of a new TV. To buy a new TV you’ll have to come up with the difference out of pocket. Not as good a deal for you.
Clearly, insuring your personal property on a replacement cost basis is much better protection than actual cash value. Sometimes it costs a bit more, but not always. Make sure you know how your policy works and check the price both ways. Make the right decision for you.
4. Loss of Use
If your home is badly damaged you won’t be able to live in it while it’s being fixed or replaced. That means you may have to pay rent somewhere while you’re also paying your mortgage. The Loss of Use coverage on your home policy pays those additional expenses for you.
Your Declarations page may state a dollar limit for this coverage, or it may state a time limit. If there is a dollar limit, this is the most the insurance company will pay for these expenses. If there’s a time limit, your insurance will pay all covered expenses regardless of the amount but only for the specified period.
Your liability coverage pays if someone sues you for their injuries due to a covered claim. When we think of such accidents we most commonly think of injuries that occur on your property – someone slips and falls, a dog bite, etc. However, the liability protection under your home policy extends beyond your property to your everyday life. For example, your home policy could also protect you if you knock someone over with a shopping cart at the grocery store
Liability insurance is all about protecting your assets from someone who sues you. So, you should have at least as much liability insurance as your financial worth. However, more than that may be prudent, and you should discuss your needs and risks thoroughly with a licensed agent in our office. Your current liability limit will be stated on your Declarations page.
This pays medical bills for a guest who is injured on your property or in another covered claim. The idea is to do the right thing for someone – pay their medical bills – and then hope they don’t sue you. This protection is inexpensive, but could save you major hassles by preventing a lawsuit.
Personal Insurance Coverage for Different Needs
On the right sidebar of this page, you will find links to a number of personal insurance resources. Click on any of the different personal insurance coverage categories to learn more about specific insurance issues and coverages. Please contact one of our insurance agents at MJM Insurance® of St Louis City for any assistance.
So, why choose MJM Insurance™ of St Louis?
We’re committed to outstanding customer service
We start by offering the best insurance products at a reasonable price. But it’s the MJM Insurance™ of St Louis team that really set us apart from the competition. With combined experience of 60 years, our sales and support staff members can handle your transactions quickly and efficiently. We service each and every account using out team of insurance professionals and we’re always available to answer your questions.
We’re committed to professionalism
Our dedication to client service comes from a culture of professionalism and respect. All of our associates at MJM Insurance™ of St Louis have strong credentials and all of our policies are presented to you in a consistent and professional manner.
We’re committed to solving problems quickly
MJM Insurance™ of St Louis has unique industry relationships, allowing us to provide exclusive insurance solutions to our customers. Additionally, every staff member is trained to actively listen and provide helpful answers presented in a way in which our policyholders clearly understand.
We’re committed to earning and maintaining your trust
We believe trust is something earned by listening to our customers while providing helpful advice and support. Trust and consistent underwriting practices is what we expect from our carrier partners, and in return we owe the same level of service to you.