Why do I need to purchase homeowners’ insurance?
A homeowners’ policy protects more than just the structure itself; it covers you and your personal property in the event of a loss. Whether you rent or own a house or condo, the right homeowners’ insurance is essential for your financial and personal well being.
What factors affect homeowners’ insurance premiums?
There are many variables at play when it comes to home insurance costs. Typical factors include: your home’s age and structural soundness, location, protective devices like burglar alarms or fire alarms, and personal factors like whether you are a smoker or have a good credit history.
Do I really need to complete a home inventory list?
We strongly recommend taking inventory of the items in your home. Having an updated home inventory list will help you to expedite a claim settlement if you ever need to file one. Here are a few tips: Take pictures of each room and all the important items within. Open drawers and cabinets and photograph items inside of them. Don’t forget to document the boxes and bins you have stashed in the attic and basement too!
Will owning dogs, trampolines, pools or woodstoves raise my homeowners’ premium?
These things are not necessarily deal breakers but can be items of concern. Insurance companies keep track of all claims and have found these items tend to pop up more often than others. Therefore, they are cautious when writing a policy with one of these risks. Every insurance company has their own set of guidelines and some are more lenient than others.
Will my homeowners’ policy cover me for a natural disaster?
You need to buy a separate flood insurance policy because flood is not covered by the standard homeowners’ policy. Earthquake is not covered, either, but you can add it to your homeowners’ policy. Windstorm damage may or may not be covered. Coverage for natural disasters has so many twists and turns, it’s best for you give us a call to discuss the details.
Is jewelry covered under my homeowners’ policy?
Your policy has limitations on certain items like jewelry. In most cases you can get the coverage you need by purchasing a rider for those special items.
How much coverage should I buy to cover my house?
You want to buy enough to replace your home, referred to as Replacement Cost. Replacement Cost is different than Market Value. Market Value is what you’d hope to collect if you buy or sell your house and it includes the value of the land as well as the location. When you insure your home, the land and the location are not part of the equation. Insurance companies only want to insure what they have to replace in the event of a loss.
What factors go into determining homeowners’ insurance rates?
There are several factors that affect homeowners’ insurance pricing.
- Location of property – You may find that your property is deemed “higher risk” if you live near the coast or if the closest fire department is over 5 miles away.
- Prior losses – Sometimes insurance companies will raise your rates if you have had prior claims.
- Condition of property – Insurance rates could be higher if your property is in need of repairs.
- Older homes – Older homes may not qualify for “preferred” rating leading to higher premiums.
How can I save money on my homeowners’ policy?
You may qualify for several discounts. They will vary depending on your insurance company but some of the most common discounts are:
- Higher Deductibles
- New Dwellings
- Loss Free
- Mature Insured
- Bundled Auto & Home Discount