We now offer financing.


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Royal Water Damage – A Rating on Angies List


Royal Water Damage - A Rating on Angies list



Contact: All Calls Answered Live by, Office Staff or Technician
Business Description: OVERALL RATING : Grade, A
May. 2013 – Gertrude – Philadelphia, Pa. – He came out too look at water damage. He was honest, nice and on time. He told me I needed someone to do home remodeling.
Feb. 2013 – Lois – Warminster, Pa. – Provided water remediation. took out wet flooring, carpeting, drywall and placed fans to dry out. then applied disinfectant. very responsive. had estimator out in am and by 12 noon the workers were here to start work. follow up for return exactly as scheduled. received a phone call after every visit to be sure every thing went well. i would definitely use them again. not sure of price because insurance paid them directly. Very pleased
Jan. 2013 – Stas – Warrington, Pa. They cleaned up a flooded basement and did a excellent job. They are very experienced in there field and it shows.
Apr. 2012 – Jessica – Bensalem, Pa. The entire staff at Royal…The women in the office, the estimators and the production staff were extremely professional, kind, helpful and reassuring, that I did not need to worry and they would take care of everything…and they did! P/S – I let everyone at Allstate (my agent, my adjuster + his boss and customer service) know what a wonderful job everyone from Royal did. That they should consider making Royal a “preferred vendor” for Allstate.
Feb. 2012 – Bonnie – Norristown, Pa. Outstanding – Thank You! 
Dec. 2011 – Marguerite – Blue Bell, Pa. – Excellent Service-would Recommend Highly.
Nov. 2011 – Jessie – Philadelphia, Pa. It went well from start to finish.
Royal Water Damage Restoration is an exclusive emergency service restoration company offering a 45 minute response time to assist you in your time of need 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Certified restoration experts provide thorough no-obligation inspections and our non-invasive drying techniques shorten the restoration process, effectively minimizing secondary damages for residential and commercial properties. We are proud to be recognized and recommended as approved vendors among national insurance companies creating a more pleasant working environment with their policy holders. When an emergency happens, time is of the essence. Call for a free emergency consultation giving you the peace of mind you need.
In Business Since: 2005
Service Area: South Eastern Pennsylvania: Bucks, Montgomery, Philadelphia, Delaware and Chester Counties.
On Angie’s List Since: 3/4/2011
Warranties: YES
Free Estimates: Yes
Office Hours: Mon 12.00 AM – 12.00 AM, Tue 12.00 AM – 12.00 AM, Wed 12.00 AM – 12.00 AM, Thu 12.00 AM – 12.00 AM, Fri 12.00 AM – 12.00 AM, Sat 12.00 AM – 12.00 AM, Sun 12.00 AM – 12.00 AM
Features: Emergency Service
Licensed: Yes, we are appropriately licensed for my trade.
(All statements concerning insurance, licenses, and bonds are informational only, and are self-reported. Since insurance, licenses and bonds can expire and can be cancelled, homeowners should always check such information for themselves.)
Cities Served: Abington | Ambler | Ardmore | Aston | Audubon | Awbury | Bala Cynwyd | Bensalem | Berwyn | Blue Bell | Boothwyn | Bridesburg | Bristol | Brookhaven | Broomall | Bryn Mawr | Bucks County | Bustleton | Cedar Park | Chalfont | Chester | Chester County | Chestnut Hill | Chinatown | Clifton Heights | Coatesville | Cobbs Creek | Collegeville | Concordville | Conshohocken | Croydon | Darby | Downingtown | Doylestown | Drexel Hill | Eagleville | East Falls | Eastwick | Eddystone | Elkins Park | Elmwood | Exton | Fairmount | Feasterville Trevose | Fishtown | Frankford | Germantown | Glen Mills | Glen Riddle | Glenolden | Glenside | Harleysville | Hartranft | Hatboro | Hatfield | Havertown | Holmesburg | Horsham | Hunting Park | Huntingdon Valley | Jamison | Jenkintown | Kennett Square | Kensington | King Of Prussia | Lafayette Hill | Landenberg | Langhorne | Lansdale | Lansdowne | Lawncrest/lawndale | Levittown | Lincoln University | Logan | Lynnewood Gardens | Malvern | Marcus Hook | Media | Montgomery County | Morrisville | Mt. Airy | Narberth | New Hope | Newtown | Newtown Square | Norristown | North Wales | Oak Lane | Old Kensington | Olney | Overbrook Hills | Oxford | Oxford Circle | Parkwood | Penndel | Pennypack | Philadelphia – Downtown | Phoenixville | Plymouth Meeting | Point Breeze | Pottstown | Quakertown | Radnor | Rhawnhurst | Ridley Park | Rittenhouse | Rose Valley | Roxborough | Royersford | Schwenksville | Society Hill | Souderton | South Philadelphia | South Street | Southampton | Southeastern | Spring Garden | Springfield | Spruce Hill | Stanton | Strawberry Mansion | Swarthmore | Tacony | Telford | Torresdale | Upper Darby | Upper Holland | Valley Forge | Wallingford | Warminster | Warrington | Wayne | West Chester | West Grove | Whitman | Willow Grove | Wynnefield | Wynnewood
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What Is Subrogation? And how it matters to you.

Subrogation refers to the process an insurance company uses to seek reimbursement from the responsible party for a claim it has already paid.

Subrogation matters to you if:

  • You have a covered loss, and
  • You submit a claim to your insurance company, but
  • Another party is actually responsible for all or part of the damages (i.e. you have a car accident and the other driver caused the accident, or if damage to your home was caused by a faulty appliance)

In this case, your insurance company may pay your claim, and then seek reimbursement from the other party. This would depend on the circumstances surrounding the loss, the laws in your state, and your policy provisions.

If your company decides to pursue subrogation, the company will work to recover the damages from the responsible party. Damages may involve costs paid by you and the insurance company. Costs paid by you usually means your deductible, but could include amounts over your policy limits not paid by your insurance company. This would depend on the laws in your state and the specific circumstances surrounding the loss.

The subrogation process may also be used if you are at fault for damages. In this case, the other party and/or their insurance company would make a claim against you, usually directly to your insurance company. Your company will review the facts of investigation to determine if you are liable for the damages. Your company may make payment to the other company if you have coverage and it is determined that you would be legally responsible for all or part of the damages. Keep in mind that often times liability is not clear cut. In some cases, both parties may be partially responsible. Dependent on the laws in your state, both parties may share responsibility for payment of damages. For example, one party may be 40% responsible, and the other party may be 60% responsible. This could mean that both companies make subrogation claims against each other, and each company pays their respective portion of the other party’s claim.

In all cases, your participation and cooperation with us in the investigation phase of the claim process is important. Your assistance can help to establish important facts, and preserve evidence, and may help to accelerate the recovery process.

Reimbursement When Money is Recovered

If money is recovered, and part of the recovered amount was paid by you, (you paid your deductible, for example, but it was the other party’s fault) a reimbursement check will be issued. The reimbursement check is usually issued when money is received. Please note that practices vary based on the specific laws for your state.

The amount to be reimbursed is based on the amount claimed and the amount recovered. The amount claimed through subrogation depends on the amount each party was at fault. The amount recovered usually is divided proportionally between the insurance company and the insured, after expenses. This could vary based on the laws in your state.

 How Reimbursement Amounts are Calculated

Dependent on the laws in your state, you may be fully reimbursed for your deductible if:

  • The other party was 100% at fault
  • The other party paid the damages claimed in full
  • There were no collection expenses (i.e. collection agency) to recover the money.

 Often times though, it is not that simple. Based on the different factors that come into play, the calculation of the reimbursement amount can become quite complicated. The reimbursement of your deductible depends on several factors, including the amount recovered, the amount claimed (based on the amount the various parties were at fault), and state laws.

Generally, you would receive reimbursement of your deductible equal to your proportion of the total amount claimed to the total amount recovered, net of expenses. However, precisely how the reimbursement amount is determined varies by state.

These examples outline general rules that apply in many states—please discuss the specifics of your case with your subrogation claim representative.

 Example 1: Other party is 100% liable, but only paid part of the amount

The total amount of damages paid is $10,000. The other party was 100% responsible for the damages. Subrogation claim is for $10,000.

  • You paid $1,000 and your insurance company paid $9,000.
  • Your proportion is 1/10 or 10% of the total amount claimed—$1,000.
  • The amount actually collected is $5,000. There were no collection expenses.
  • You are reimbursed for $500, or 10% of the amount collected.
  • Your insurance company is reimbursed for $4,500.

 Example 2: Other party is partially liable; only paid part of the amount

The total amount of damages paid is $1000. The other party was 60% responsible for the damages. Subrogation claim is for $6,000.

  • You paid $1,000 and your insurance company paid $9,000.
  • Your proportion is 1/10 or 10% of the total amount claimed—$600.
  • The amount actually collected is $3,000. There were no collection expenses.
  • You are reimbursed for $300, or 10% of the amount collected.
  • Your insurance company is reimbursed for $2,700.

 Questions? Your Claims Representative Can Help.

Subrogation can be complex and non-intuitive. If you have questions, please let your claims representative know.

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Royal Water Damage is an IICRC Certified Firm

IICRC Certified Firm

Royal Water Damage – IICRC Certified Firm

IICRC Certified Firms have earned the right to display the cleantrust logo as a symbol of quality. In order to achieve IICRC-certified status, firms must meet a rigorous list of standards in business ethics and expertise. All IICRC Certified Firms must:

  • Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.
  • Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.
  • Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.
  • Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.
  • Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.

The IICRC actively has relationships with fiber producers, carpet and fabric mills, furnishing manufacturers and retailers, and others affiliated with the industry. The use of cleantrust  service professionals is specified in leading manufacturers’ maintenance brochures and warranties.

When it comes to cleaning, restoration and inspection, the IICRC writes the books

As an ANSI-accredited standard-development organization, the IICRC has led the way in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, upholstery and fabric cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation.

Each IICRC standard takes years to develop and the coordination of several experts in the field, including allied tradespersons; manufacturers; international, national and regional trade associations; individual or franchise professionals; cleaning, inspection and restoration industry organizations; insurance industry; training schools; contractors; and public health professionals.

These standards are reviewed and updated at least every five years. Many of these fields, such as the water damage restoration field, change rapidly and those who are certified keep up with the advancement of the science and generally accepted practices of the industry.

The IICRC helps keep homes and businesses healthful

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average person spends 90 percent or more of their time indoors, where levels of pollutants may be two to five times (and occasionally more than 100 times) higher than outdoor levels.

This makes it extremely important to perform regular maintenance inside your home or business. In addition to vacuuming, cleaning and checking for water damage on a regular basis, using a certified technician for cleaning will help extend the life of your flooring and upholstery and ensure that your home or business is healthful for those who live and work there.

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Water Damage in or around Philadelphia?

Royal Water Damage Philadelphia, PA

Professional technicians will get to your place quickly to repair the damage and prevent any further flood or water damage from happening to your home or business. Whether a pipe burst in your residence, or your water heater ruptured, it is important to contact emergency service clean up and water extraction services ASAP.
Royal Water Damage uses Dri-Eaz: the industry's leading drying equipment manufacturer!Water damage, the removal, and the clean up process that follows, can be very quickly done and the cost associated with it relatively low, when compared to the cost of mold remediation if the dry out is not taken care of properly.

Expert technicians can help- offering the most comprehensive water damage remediation services available, employing only the most skilled, well-trained and certified technicians who use the most modern equipment in the field.

Royal Water Damage Services in and surrounding
Philadelphia, PA include:

Flood Water Extraction & Water Damage Services:

  • Basement Water Removal
  • Water Removal and DryingDehumidification
    • Complete Structural Drying
    • Carpet & Area Rug Drying
    • Wood Floor Drying
    • Wall Drying
    • Kitchen Cabinet Drying & Wet Cabinet Removal
  • Odor and Mildew Control
  • Deodorize and Sanitize
  • Carpet Cleaning, Repair, and Stretching
  • Upholstery Cleaning
  • Debris Removal
  • Tile and Air Duct Cleaning after Water Damage

Fire and Smoke Services:

  • Smoke Odor Removal
  • Structural/Content Cleaning
  • Structural Restoration
  • Complete Damage Clean Up
  • Tile and Air Duct Cleaning after Fire Damage

Sewage Intrusion Cleanup:

  • Extract All Visible Contamination
  • Disinfect All Affected Areas
  • Odor Removal
  • Complete Damage Clean Up
  • Tile and Carpet Cleaning after Sewage Damage

Mold Remediation:

  • Assessment, Clean Up & Remediation
Royal Water Damage offers flood water extraction & water damage services, fire and smoke services, sewage clean up, and mold remediation in and around Philadelphia. We are a full service company available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Technicians are available in your neighborhood. Call today for your no-obligation, free estimate!
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Water Damage Restoration – What Are Your Options?

If you have been confronted by water damage in your house or commercial property, you will be best advised to hire the services of a professional fire and water restoration company. Though water damage restoration is something that you can achieve on your own, there is too much at risk to take it up as a do it yourself project.

Here are some highlights about the services that a well established fire and water restoration company like Royal Water Damage will be able to provide.

•Available 24/7 – The good fire and water restoration company will operate throughout the day and night. Time is of the essence when it comes to water damage restoration and lost time will often result in dramatically increased losses and additional restoration expenses. Shut off the water supply that caused the flooding and call a professional water damage repair company as soon as you can.

•Expert help with insurance claims – The fire and water restoration company is more than just a professional service to restore your home. The Royal Water Damage will often award you an insurance specialist who will help you with the insurance claims process along the way. Ideally, claiming insurance should be easy for homeowners who have suffered property damage although the reality is that the insurance company will do anything to give you a check with a lower amount than required. Having professional help in the form of an insurance specialist will save you a lot of stress and effort and will also get you that check that will cover all the restoration expenses.

•Professional equipment – fire and water restoration company will have several commercial grade machines such as dehumidifiers, blowers, truck mounted water extraction units, portable water extraction units, moisture gauges, humidity gauges and so on that will help them remove the water and restore your property in the fastest way possible. If you approached the process on your own, it will take you a very long time as you will generally have just one dehumidifier or just one blower which might not even be powerful enough to do the job in the first place.

•Technical knowhow – This is where restoration companies offers the most value. It will take you several hours of research and learning to figure out the best restoration plan for you house while a professional restoration company will often have years of experience on their hands. Their experience and their expertise will allow them to immediately go to work on restoring your property in the most time efficient and cost efficient manner. They will also be able to advise you about potential problems with the construction of your house that might lead to future water damage problems. 

Thus, in conclusion, it is advised that you call for the services of a fire and water restoration company if you haven’t done so already. The sooner your call, the lesser your losses will be. A good fire and water restoration companies will also guarantee you that their repair estimates will be accepted by the insurance company which means that you have almost nothing to lose by hiring professionals.

Service within 45 minutes with FREE Estimates. Call 215-657-2244

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Daylight saving time will begin at 2 a.m. on Sunday.


It’s almost time to spring ahead, which means it’s also time to test and replace the batteries in your smoke detectors.

Royal Water Damage would like to remind everyone to not only set their clocks ahead this weekend, but to also test your smoke detector batteries and change them if necessary.

Royal Water Damagesays even hard-wired smoke alarms should have their batteries replaced and tested monthly.

A working smoke alarm doubles your chance of survival during a fire by giving you the critical time needed to escape.

A lot of fires occur at night while most people are sleeping.

Actually, the smoke and toxic gases from the fire can cause you to fall into a deeper sleep, diminishing the chance of survival.

 Royal Water Damage recommends changing the batteries every six months and testing them monthly.

Daylight saving time will begin at 2 a.m. on Sunday.

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3 Ways to Help Prevent Water Damage in Your Home or Business

A pipe bursts, a hose blows or a steady drip goes unnoticed for months. Whatever causes a leak, it usually results in a messy, costly problem. In fact, the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety reports the average cost of a plumbing failure is more than $5,000 after the insurance deductible was paid.

A leak detection device can be your first line of defense against water damage in your home. Here’s a look at what’s available:

  • Passive systems are alarm-only detectors. They are relatively inexpensive and should be placed near appliances and fixtures that use water, in the basement and in other areas where you may have a concern about leaks. The units emit a loud noise or whistle when a leak is detected. Typically battery-powered, they are portable and require no hard wiring, so they’re ideal for do-it-yourselfers.
  • Appliance leak detectors are connected to specific appliances that could leak, such as a washing machine or a refrigerator with a water dispenser. These detectors also issue an alarm, but because they turn off the water to the appliance when a leak is detected they are considered “active” leak detection systems. Some appliance leak detectors can be installed by a homeowner; others may require professional plumbing assistance for best results.
  • Whole-house leak detection systems provide widespread protection. A shut-off valve is installed on the main water line; the system’s primary unit is typically hard-wired to an electrical source to power the valve. When a leak is detected, the sensors transmit an alert to the main unit, which shuts off the water to the entire house. Moisture-sensing technologies for these systems vary by manufacturer and generally are either internal components of the shut off valve or external moisture sensors that are installed at all appliances and fixtures where leaks can occur. Sophisticated systems can be connected to a home security or fire alarm system, and can be programmed to send an electronic message about the leak to you or a security company. Plumber contractors often install whole-house systems.

In addition to installing leak detection devices, homeowners should stay on the lookout for potential water problems around the home.

  • Pay attention to damp or discolored areas under sinks or near refrigerators, and around bathroom fixtures. 
  • Look for rust on the exterior or base of a water heater.
  • Replace hoses on the washing machine every 3-5 years as part of a proactive maintenance plan.
  • Investigate musty smells in the basement or near water fixtures.
  • Clean and test your sump pump periodically.
  • If a leak is discovered, have it repaired immediately.

    If you suspect a problem, consider having a plumber check your pipes, fittings and water pressure.

If you do incur water damage be sure to call us for a FREE Estimate and Evaluation at 215-657-2244.


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Water Damage & Flood Recovery Services:

Basement Water Removal

Basements can flood for many reasons. Water can enter through cracks in basement walls. This happens most often when there are high amounts of water seeping into the ground outside during periods of raining and snow melting.  If your basement collects water frequently, start tracking water patterns and notice where flooding may occur. Sump pumps are a common solution for basement water removal, but identifying the most effective sump pump is critical. A pump that is too large may be forced to work harder resulting in a shorter product life span, while a pump too small may not be able to adequately pump out the water. Call us at 215-657-2208 for a service technician to help inspect your basement, help identify the best sump pump for your situation, and provide your free estimate!

Water Removal and Drying

Whether water has collected in your basement, crawl space, attic, or elsewhere, we can remove the water promptly and dry your property with the most efficient equipment! Call 215-657-2208 for a service technician to be onsite in 45 minutes or less and to obtain your free estimate!

Complete Structural Drying

Structural drying is an excellent method of drying so you can reduce any risk of mold and get your home or commercial business restored as quickly as possible. Structural drying applies techniques to perform the best and fastest drying for any commercial business or home.  Structural drying often does not require the carpet to be pulled up- saving you costs in carpet replacement and repair! Call 215-657-2208 for a no obligation free estimate and to see if complete structural drying is the solution for your situation!

Carpet & Area Rug Drying

A wet carpet can cause many problems. The dampness is perfect for mold and mildew to grow, and it can also cause the fabric of your house to rot.  Although there are several do it yourself drying options available, why take the risk? You can ensure that the job is done correctly by calling 215-657-2208 today!

Wood Floor Drying

Leaks from a water heater or a plumbing problem can damage wood floors. Even small amounts of water left on wood floors can cause wood to swell and eventually become damaged if not properly dried. Patience is required as finished flooring and floor systems do not react and dry out overnight. In some instances, it may take weeks for the flooring to flatten and/or stabilize. Quick action to remove the moisture is the first step to limiting the damage and for successful repair. Call 215-657-2208 today!

Wall Drying

Several structural materials such as drywall and insulation can collect water.  In as little as eight hours, more than six inches of water can collect in porous structural materials that form typical walls.  Prompt drying and dehumidification are key.  Airflow is essential to increasing the rate of evaporation, and trained experts can help increase the airflow inside your walls, drying them and dehumidifying the partitions with minimal wall repair.  Call 215-657-2208 now for an expert inspection and free estimate!

Kitchen Cabinet Drying & Wet Cabinet Removal

Drying water damaged kitchen cabinets is less costly than replacing them. Before you decide to replace cabinetry, it is possible to fix water damaged kitchen or vanity sink cabinet bottoms. Of course, this will depend upon the extent of the damage in every case. Call 215-657-2208 today for a professional to help determine the best action to take!


Dehumidification can save property owners, businesses, and insurance companies money in restoration and replacement costs, as well as the costs of downtime and delayed production schedules. Dehumidifiers are capable of reducing high humidity and restoring normal moisture levels quickly.  By extracting water vapor from the air, the rate of evaporation is increased, drying your water damaged property that much sooner. Call 215-657-2208 for a free no obligation estimate!

Odor and Mildew Control

Structures damaged by water can develop odors that originate from chemicals released by wet building materials, wet contents, urine from pets, bacteria, and other sources.  The musty, moldy odors in water damaged buildings are compounds produced metabolically active bacteria and fungi. In addition to the odors, mildew can grow on several kinds of surfaces, and can be transported by insects, animals, and air. Call 215-657-2208 today to eliminate the unpleasant odor and spread of mildew!

Deodorize and Sanitize

Just because the water may have evaporated on its own, your property may be susceptible to odors, bacteria, and mold.  Professionals can deodorize and sanitize the affected areas, minimizing any health hazards as a result of the water damage.  Call 215-657-2208 to speak to a specialist today!

Carpet Cleaning, Repair, and Stretching

Repairing carpet is more economical than installing new carpet; and we have the experience and knowledge to provide prompt and professional services, as well as new flooring installation when needed. Everything from cigarette burns and paint spills, to water damage and pet stains, can be removed.  Call 215-657-2208 to make your home look new again with expert carpet repair and carpet stretching services!

Upholstery Cleaning

Sofas, arm chairs and other upholstered furniture receive a lot of attention, especially in a home with children or pets. Although dirt and stains are inevitable in a home, they do not have to be permanent. Experts can remove everything from cigarette burns and paint spills to water damage and pet stains. Call 215-657-2208 to make your upholstery look new again!

Debris Removal

Flood debris and damaged materials removal is essential to a quick restoration. Professionals can remove damaged property safely and efficiently. Call 215-657-2208 to speak to a professional today!

Tile and Air Duct Cleaning after Water Damage

Experts will quickly and efficiently take care of removing the bacteria and dirt that is found in your tile and grout. Once this process is done, your tile will be sealed to give it that brand new look and feel. This will make sure that the dirt and bacteria stay out of your tiles. Besides the collection of bacteria and dirt in your tile, air ducts foster a convenient pathway for airborne contaminants. Standard, throw-away fiberglass filters remove less than 7% of these particles, which means much of the rest settles in your air ducts, and can eventually settle in your lungs. Air duct cleaning can lead to reduction in allergies, minimizing the spread of mold and viruses, and efficient airflow, resulting in better healthier indoor air quality. Have an expert provide this service cost-effectively using the latest technologies. Call 215-657-2208 to discuss your needs with an expert today!

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Wall Street Journal guide to homeowners insurance

(Photo credit: Thinkstock)

Royal Water Damage Restoration 215-657-2244

Homeowners insurance protects your home, its contents, and, indirectly, your other assets in the event of fires, theft, accidents or other disasters.

A standard homeowners policy (known as an HO-3 policy) will protect you from things like fires and fallen trees. Notice how we didn’t mention floods or earthquakes—those events are specifically not covered by a standard policy and require additional coverage. Homeowners in some areas of the country may be required by their mortgage company to carry these kinds of policies.

A standard policy will also protect your possessions from said disasters as well as theft. But a standard policy is not a blank check: There’s a limit to how much you’ll be compensated. If you have specific items of value, such as jewelry or artwork, you can pay a little extra each year to insure them for their full replacement value.

Now, if someone is on your property and slips and falls and sprains his ankle, he might sue you for his medical expenses. Homeowners insurance covers your liabilities in this situation as well. And like the examples mentioned above, you can pay more for extra coverage. Homeowners insurance isn’t required by law, like auto insurance. But mortgage companies usually require you to obtain a policy before they’ll give you a loan.

How Much Coverage Do You Need?

Your home insurance policy should cover enough to entirely rebuild and furnish your home were it wiped off the map. Ask a home builder to walk through your home and give you an estimate of what it would take to rebuild; that figure should be the basis for how much replacement coverage you’ll need. Be sure to point out any unique and/or expensive details that would add to the replacement cost.

Once you’ve determined the replacement cost of your home, you’ll need to know what kind of coverage you want. There are a few key terms here:

Guaranteed Replacement Cost Coverage. This means that the insurer will pay for the rebuilding of your home no matter the cost. These policies are hard to find these days.

Extended Replacement Coverage Many insurers offer coverage that caps the payout at around 125% of your home’s insured value.

Inflation Guarantee (or Guard). This feature makes sure that your home’s insured value stays current with the marketplace.

If you get a reliable appraisal, extended replacement coverage and an inflation guarantee, you should be in good shape. The appraisal provides a realistic starting figure and the inflation guarantee makes sure that your home’s price stays current. The 125% coverage means that, even if construction prices outpace inflation, they probably didn’t outpace it by 25%, so you should have enough money for whatever work you need done.

One last thing: The law requires you to have flood insurance if you live in an officially recognized high-risk area. To find out your flood risk and to find plans (which are offered by the government), go to floodsmart.gov.

When it comes to protecting your possessions, you may want more coverage than your standard policy allows. If you have anything of exceptional value (a family heirloom, a piece of art, jewelry, etc.), you should insure it separately. Insurers will charge extra for this coverage (something like an extra $10 on your monthly premium per $1,000 of value insured), but it pays to be covered.

Also keep in mind that there are two different kinds of coverage when it comes to personal articles. There’s “actual cash value” and there’s “replacement cost.” You want coverage for replacement cost. “Actual cash value” is what you’d get if you sold your valuable today — a lower amount than what you initially paid. “Replacement cost” pays you the amount of money you’d need to buy a brand-new item to replace your old one.

Liability Coverage

Say a guest stays at your home and slips on the floor and sprains his ankle. He decides to sue you. Your homeowners policy includes liability coverage in case you lose the court case. Generally speaking, standard policies offer $100,000 to $300,000 of liability coverage.

Supplemental liability coverage can boost your protection to $1 million or more. If you don’t own a car, adding that kind of coverage can be relatively cheap—less than $100 per year—and isn’t a bad idea. If you do own a car (putting you at greater risk for causing damage to people and property), expect to pay $300 to $400 a year. Check out your auto policy to see what kind of coverage you already have.

Shopping for a Homeowners Policy

There are three kinds of home insurance companies and salespeople:

Direct sellers, who sell directly to consumers (GEICO, Progressive and USAA fall into this category).

Captive agents, who only sell one company’s insurance products (for example, State Farm and Allstate agents).

Independent insurance agents, who sell policies from many different companies.

It’s possible that all of these groups will deny your insurance application for anything from the risky pool of alligators in your backyard or the tornado that runs through your property every year. Don’t despair. Many states have state-sponsored insurance programs for the hard-to-insure. Search for your state’s FAIR (Fair Access to Insurance Requirements) plan if you’re having a tough time with the traditional insurers.

Your Deductible

Like auto or health insurance, your homeowners insurance has a deductible (the amount you must pay before coverage kicks in). Like those other policies, you should opt for the highest deductible you can afford. If you do, the cost of your insurance premium (the monthly bill you pay) will surely be lower. Plus, a low deductible forces your insurer to cover more of your costs — costs they pass on to you in the form of increased premiums.

Remember: You should not use insurance to cover every conceivable expense, just the big ones. If reinstalling a gutter will cost you $200, pay the $200 — don’t start filing claims for it. Insurers hate it when you file too many claims, and may raise your monthly premium or even cancel coverage because they’ll view you as too risky. It’s not about gutters—you want the insurance when you have to pay for a whole new roof.

A good rule of thumb to follow: If you can fix anything for less than $1,000, don’t file a claim

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