News Release

New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance

Holly C. Bakke Commissioner

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 21, 2002
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION: BILL HEINE or PETER HARTT (609) 292-5064

BANKING AND INSURANCE COMMISSIONER ANNOUNCES PUBLICATION OF A BOOKLET TO HELP CONSUMERS BUY HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE

TRENTON - Is your home protected if damaged by a flood? Are your valuables insured in case of fire or theft? If you are not sure, then the new "Consumer Guide: Insuring Your Home" (PDF) is for you.

As part of an ongoing effort to give consumers the tools to make the right banking and insurance decisions, Banking and Insurance Commissioner Holly C. Bakke today announced the publication of a booklet to help consumers purchase a homeowners insurance policy thatís right for them.

Is your home in a flood zone? Maybe you donít need the added protection. Do you rent? You still can buy a homeowners policy to pay for replacing your lost valuables. All that and more is explained in the buyerís guide, which is available in booklet form and on the departmentís web site.

"The comprehensive booklet serves as both a reminder and a guide to help people protect their biggest investment - their home and the things inside it," Commissioner Bakke said. "Even if you already have homeowners insurance, this guide will help you make sure you are adequately covered."

For example, do you know that even if you have a mortgage for your home or condominium, it doesnít necessarily mean you have homeowners insurance? The lender usually requires it, but itís better to make sure the proper coverage is in place before there is a claim.

Do you know the difference between replacement cost and actual cash value? With replacement cost, the insurer will pay the amount it would take to replace or rebuild your home or repair damages with materials of like kind and quality. Actual cash value is the replacement cost less depreciation.

"This is another example of how this department is heeding the call from Gov. McGreevey to reach out more effectively to New Jersey consumers," Bakke said.

Download the "Consumer Guide: Insuring Your Home" (PDF) or call the departmentís hot line at 1-800-446-SHOP (7467).