Homeowners Insurance FAQs
Protect your investment with homeowner's insurance
It’s no secret that buying a home is one of the biggest purchases you’ll make in a lifetime. When you purchase a home, it’s a mammoth investment - homeowners insurance protects that investment. Here are some easy ways to get your home the best possible insurance coverage and save money.
Why do I need homeowners insurance?
Most mortgage lenders require homebuyers to purchase homeowners insurance. Damage, loss or theft can occur during home ownership, and the insurance company you select helps you pay for the repairs or replacement items needed in your home. Natural disasters such as a tornado, thunderstorm or fire can cause significant damage to your home. With the average homeowners insurance policy, partial or total loss may be covered. Reimbursement of the loss of personal items is another huge benefit to purchasing homeowners insurance. Appliances, clothing, electronics, tools and other belongings may also be covered through your homeowners policy. This may be the case whether your belongings are in the home or not.
Most standard homeowners insurance also protects you from liability. You could face a lawsuit holding you responsible for injuries that occur on your property. Family liability protection can safeguard you from a lawsuit in the event a guest is injured in a fall on your icy sidewalk or is bitten by your beloved Shih Tzu. Again, this coverage can insure you whether or not you are present at the time of injury.
How can I get the best deal on homeowners insurance?
Researching all your options well in advance, building a strong insurance history, and bundling different kinds of insurance can help you save boatloads (or houseloads) of cash.
Planning ahead and getting homeowners insurance quotes well in advance is the best way to save. Again, it is typically required by mortgage lenders. Suddenly realizing you need an insurance policy to secure a mortgage loan means you could be forced to settle for a bad deal.
Don’t wait until the last minute - it limits your options and ability to shop around for the best possible financial protection and best deal. Some insurance carriers may offer discounts if you get a quote in advance. Comparison shopping and researching different homeowners insurance rates is a great way to save.
Before purchasing homeowners insurance, you can also save money on the cost of that insurance by establishing a history of “good behavior” with other types of insurance. In your past life as a renter and/or car owner, it is important that there have been no gaps in your payments or rental coverage. Making timely rental insurance and car payments can help you get a better price on homeowners insurance, too.
Bundling, or purchasing various kinds of insurance with one provider, can also help you save. Although the cost of your car insurance may go up with a particular insurance provider, the savings on your homeowners insurance may end up making the overall cost of combined car and homeowners insurance much lower. Try comparing rates when you bundle versus when you don’t and you’ll see what you can save by using one company for both car and homeowners insurance.
What is NOT usually covered by homeowners insurance?
Structural damage is not typically covered by homeowners insurance. Insurance companies usually cover loss that is considered sudden and accidental, not damage that takes place over time such as a crack in your home’s foundation. The only instance where this may not be the case is structural damage caused by leaking pipes.
Earthquakes and floods are not always covered, either. Make sure your understanding of your homeowners insurance policy is clear. Consult an insurance professional if your home is on a floodplain or in an earthquake zone to see if you’re covered.
What should I look for when selecting homeowners insurance?
If you’re not sure what level of coverage you need, you should get a quote and compare rates across different policies and different insurance companies. Working with an insurance professional can help you get the financial protection. You should look for a bargain, but you also want to achieve a healthy balance between a policy that is low cost *and* provides sufficient insurance coverage of your home and your belongings.