What troops need to know about home and renters insurance in 2024

by Vern Evans

Just as vehicle prices and the cost of vehicle repairs have risen, so have the costs of construction materials and labor, boosting the price of homeowners insurance policies.

“What I’ve heard most is grumbling about home and auto insurance rates,” said J.J. Montanaro, a certified financial planner with USAA’s military advocacy group.

Most homeowners insurance policies have an inflation guard built in, but review your coverage annually to ensure there aren’t any gaps and make sure you’re getting the best price. Know what you would pay out of pocket in an emergency.

Wind and hail losses, particularly to roofs, have been on the rise. Those claims sometimes require a unique deductible, equal to a percentage of the home’s insured value.

Homeowners insurance policies don’t cover flooding.

Ensure you have enough insurance to cover any damage to or loss of your home and belongings. Comparison shop between insurance companies, and always ask if a military discount is available.

Renters in the local civilian community or in privatized military housing need renters insurance to cover the cost of their personal belongings in case of a fire or major weather event.

Renters insurance averages about $15 to $30 a month, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

Inventory your belongings, and if you have high-value items like jewelry or antiques, ask your insurance company about your best options for coverage.

Consider whether you want to cover the cash value of your belongings or the cost of replacing them. Actual cash-value coverage will reimburse you for the cost of the personal property at the time of the loss, minus depreciation and your deductible, but not for any replacements.

Karen has covered military families, quality of life and consumer issues for Military Times for more than 30 years, and is co-author of a chapter on media coverage of military families in the book “A Battle Plan for Supporting Military Families.” She previously worked for newspapers in Guam, Norfolk, Jacksonville, Fla., and Athens, Ga.

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