insuranceQuotes wants you to have peace of mind that your homeowner’s insurance will be there in the event you need it.
Standard home insurance coverage protects:
- House & Other Structures – the structure of your home
- Personal Property – things such as furniture and clothing
- Liability Coverage – covers you in case someone else is hurt in your home
- Medical Payments - covers the medical costs incurred by those on your property. This coverage also extendeds to some injuries incurred off your properties premises
- Additional Living Expenses – temporary housing costs if your home becomes uninhabitable
Optional home insurance coverage include:
- Guaranteed Replacement Costs - this coverage will protect you if the value of your home increases due to inflation
- Valuables / Personal Property - covers high-value possessions
- Inflation Protection - adjusts coverage to keep up with inflation and provides a discount on your homeowners insurance premium
Did you know that bundling your home and auto insurance policies could save you up to $500? Here are a few additional home insurance discounts that you may qualify for:
- Multi-policy discounts
- Home security systems
- Claims free discount
- Newly purchased homebuyer discount
- Smoke detectors & fire extinguishers
Discounts vary by state, so contact us today to see how much we can save you on your homeowner's insurance!
10 Homeowners Insurance FAQs
Homeowners insurance offers you key financial protection if your home is damaged or destroyed by a fire or natural disaster or if criminals break into your property and steal your valuables.
But even though this insurance is a critical form of protection, most homeowners know little about how it works, what it covers and why it’s so necessary.
Here, then, are 10 FAQs about homeowners insurance you absolutely should know:
1. Can I get by without it?
Legally, you can own a home without buying homeowners insurance. But this could be a costly mistake. What if your home is destroyed in a fire? What if it’s badly damaged by a lightning strike? What if that tree in your front yard crashes through your roof?
Homeowners insurance will provide the financial payout you need to either rebuild your home completely or repair it. Can you handle costly repairs on your own? Could you afford to rebuild if your home was destroyed?
If you answered “no,” then homeowners insurance is a must.
2. Can I get a mortgage without homeowners insurance?
If you are financing your home with a mortgage loan, you have no choice but to purchase homeowners insurance. Lenders won’t loan you mortgage dollars if you don’t first show them proof that you’ve invested in a homeowners insurance policy.
Don’t look at this as your mortgage lender forcing you to take on another cost. Look at homeowners insurance instead as a way to protect your finances if disaster strikes your home.
3. What does it cover?
Homeowners insurance provides a wide range of coverage. This includes coverage for property damage to your home and, depending on your policy, any detached structures, such as a garage, on your property. This type of coverage will payout when your home is damaged or destroyed by such events as hurricanes, vandalism, lightning strikes, fires and other natural disasters.
Policies also include coverage for personal property loss. If someone breaks into your home and steals your valuables, your insurance policy will pay out, according to the limits of your coverage. Your policy will also cover the value of damaged or destroyed personal property -- such as jewelry, computers, TVs and furniture -- because of fire, hurricanes and other disasters.
Personal liability is another important coverage area. If you, a family member or your pet causes an injury or accident to someone who is visiting your property, your policy will provide coverage.
4. What are some key exclusions?
Homeowners insurance doesn’t cover everything. Policies will not cover damage to your home from floods or earthquakes. You’ll have to purchase additional coverage for that. Policies won’t cover damages, either, when water backs up into your basement through your residence’s sewers or drains.
5. What are riders, and why do they matter?
If you have valuables that are particularly expensive, such as jewelry or furs, you might want to purchase a rider. A rider is an add-on to your base insurance policy, and provides additional coverage to help you replace your most costly items. The limits of your basic homeowners insurance policy might not provide enough of a payout to cover the costs of replacing such costly items.
6. Should I buy flood insurance?
Maybe. Standard homeowners insurance policies don’t cover damage caused by floods. You can, though, buy flood insurance through any insurance agent or brokerage that participates in the National Flood Insurance Program. If your home rests in a flood plain, your mortgage lender will require that you purchase flood insurance before you can take out a mortgage loan. But even if your home doesn’t rest in a flood plain, doesn’t mean that it won’t flood. If other homes in your neighborhood flood often, you might consider investing in flood insurance.
Make sure, though, that you speak with your insurance agent about this type of insurance before you purchase a policy. Even flood insurance won’t cover every instance of water back-up in your home.
7. What is a deductible?
A deductible is the amount of money you’ll have to pay on your own before your insurance company’s coverage kicks in. Say you have a deductible of $1,000 on your homeowners insurance. Now, say that tree in your front yard topples and smashes through your home’s roof. If the cost to repair the roof is $6,000, you’ll have to pay $1,000 before your insurance company covers the rest.
Generally, the higher your deductible, the lower the annual cost of your homeowners insurance premium. Just make sure that you can afford to pay that deductible if disaster should strike.
8. What affects the amount I pay?
There are several big factors that determine how much you’ll pay for homeowners insurance. You’ll pay more, of course, if you elect for a higher amount of coverage.
But you might also pay more depending on the location of your home. If you live in an area with more burglaries, your insurance will rise. Your homeowners insurance will be higher, too, if your home is located in an area plagued by tornadoes or hurricanes.
The age of your home matters, too. Older homes typically cost more to insure. Your insurance costs can vary, too, depending on whether your home is made of brick or wood or whether it has aluminum siding.
9. Are there ways to lower the cost of homeowners insurance without moving?
There are. You can, as mentioned above, go with a higher deductible. But you can also take other, less costly, steps to lower your insurance premium.
Installing a burglar alarm will lower your insurance, as will installing smoke alarms. Your homeowners insurance will even go down if you give up smoking, because smokers are far more likely to cause a fire than are non-smokers. If you buy more than one type of insurance from the same company – say homeowners and auto insurance – you’ll usually qualify for a discount, too.
It’s best to ask your insurance agent about any available discounts. That way, you won’t accidentally miss any.
10. What’s replacement cost vs. actual cash value?
This is a key question when taking out a homeowners insurance policy. With a replacement cost policy, your insurer will provide coverage – up to your policy’s limits – equal to what it would take to replace your lost goods or repair your damaged home in today’s dollars.
Say your home is destroyed and you need to rebuild. If your insurer determines that it will cost you $300,000 in today’s dollars to rebuild your home, that’s the coverage you will receive, even if you paid just $200,000 originally for your home.
Actual cash value offers less protection. Say your computer is stolen. Under an actual cash value policy, you’d receive coverage equal to what that computer was worth when you bought it with depreciation figured in. Maybe it would cost you $2,000 to replace your computer in today’s dollars. But because you only paid $1,500 for the computer, you’ll receive less from your insurer, especially when depreciation is factored in.
A replacement cost policy, then, obviously offers more protection. But such policies are more expensive because of this.
What to know about increasing your homeowners insurance.
Learn the essentials on how to protect your home and possessions against natural disaster, fire and theft, as well as how to save money on you home insurance premium.
- What is a premium?
- What is a deductible?
- What are the different types of home insurance deductible?
- What is liability insurance?
- What are the different types of home insurance?
- What is flood insurance?
- What is earthquake insurance?
- What are home insurance riders/ floaters/ endorsements?
- How much home insurance coverage do I need?
- What is bundling?
Damage, Theft & Claims
- Does home insurance cover floods?
- Does home insurance cover earthquakes?
- How to create a home inventory.
- How do I file a claim?
- How to ensure your home is protected against theft.
- How to winterize you home.
- Own a dog? How to avoid dog bite liability.
Money Saving Tips
- Should I raise my home insurance deductible?
- How a good credit score can save you money on insurance.
- Should I bundle my home and auto insurance policies?