Showing posts with label Home Insurance. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Home Insurance. Show all posts

What Does Home Insurance Cover?

Almost every homeowner has a home insurance policy put up some place. This document is left unattended or unread for years without most homeowners even considering the policy from the time they purchase the insurance until a disaster occurs and then the sad truth is that the damages are not covered in their home insurance policy. One such natural disaster that is usually not included in a home insurance policy is damages done by flooding. This small exclusion can even include the bad luck of a pipe bursting in the middle of winter when the pipe freezes or if your washing machine or dishwasher breaks and pours water all over the kitchen or laundry room and out into the carpeted areas of your home.

The best way to learn what is covered is of course by reading your home insurance policy. You will need to know this information if the unthinkable happens including storms that damage your roof, your dog breaks through the fence and destroys the neighbor's yard, or if a burglar steals your laptop from your hotel room while on vacation. Things may have changed since you purchase the policy and your personal property may have increased over the amount of monies you will be compensated to replace the items or you may built onto your home or property such as building a barn or other structure. If these items are not on the policy they will not be, covered if damaged. You may even have some things on your policy that you did not even realize were covered. Waiting for a disaster to happen before you learn what is covered and not covered can be devastating.

In general the most common things included in a home insurance policy are explained below, but remember these are what is normally covered, your policy may not cover all of these or it may cover even more, you will need to read your policy to ensure you know exactly what is or is not covered.

Coverage on most home insurance policies include the structure of the home including any structures attached to the home such as a garage, your lawn, shrubs, trees, flower beds, all unattached buildings such as barns, work sheds, gazebos, guest houses, pool house, and greenhouses.

If your home is damaged and is unlivable until repairs are completed, most home insurance policies will cover the living expenses needed for a specific period of time until the home can be repaired.

Yours and your family's personal belongings along with guest's belongings that are in your home at the time of the disaster are normally covered. Many times your personal belongings are also covered when taking them on vacation.

Other things that are normally covered include cemetery plots are often included in benefits as well as attorney fees, court costs, and medical bills for property damage or injury to others.

Certain regions of the US are vulnerable to weather conditions that others areas are not such as tornadoes, earthquakes, and hurricanes. In some cases, your policy may not cover such disasters so you will need to learn if these should be added to your policy.

Home Insurance Tips – Save Your Money

Save money through safety. You may be able to save on insurance premiums by looking into safety and prevention features that often merit a discount. Consider purchasing monitored security alarms, and take precautions such as installing deadbolt locks, both of which can ward away thieves and prevent a costly (not to mention frightening) break-in. Easily accessible fire extinguishers are another good addition to the home, reducing the risk of severe flame and smoke damage.

Embrace preventive maintenance. Remember that a homeowners insurance policy is designed to repair or replace your property in the event of an unexpected major loss, and individuals who repeatedly file claims for minor problems may face higher premiums and could jeopardize their insurability. Conducting preventive maintenance on your home and repairing small problems quickly can help avert more substantial losses down the road. A number of providers offer home warranty coverages more suitable for maintenance needs involving appliances, plumbing or the like.

Keep your records current.If the unthinkable should occur and you have to file a major insurance claim, having up-to-date records of your home’s contents and structural condition can be invaluable during the claims process. First, if you’ve made any significant renovations to the home itself after moving in, be sure to inform your insurance company, since it may affect the replacement cost of the home.

Next, take an inventory of your belongings, including how much you paid for each item and its current value. Make a record of your possessions, with pictures or a video camera, and store the records outside of your home so they are less likely to be destroyed in a disaster. The record can help you determine your coverage needs, and it also can serve as your proof of ownership if a loss occurs, helping the insurance company to estimate your payment.

Bright Ideas About Homeowners Insurance

1. Read and understand your policy.
2. Maintain a list of personal property, as well as photographic records, and store in a safe-deposit box or      other location away from home.
3. Make sure that your coverage keeps pace with improvements or rising value.
4. Review your policy annually.
5. Contact your local fire department or other emergency agencies for area-specific information on improving the safety of your property.

Home Insurance Tips

Homeowners insurance premiums are determined by a number of factors, many of which are under your control. Making a few smart decisions will give you the coverage you need and could save you hundreds of dollars each year. Consider the following tips, which can go a long way toward protecting your home and your peace of mind.

Get the facts. When you find a house, gather as much information as you can to determine its potential insurance costs. The age of electrical, plumbing and other systems within the home, as well as construction materials used to build the house, can affect your premiums. For example, masonry homes or less flammable roofing material can provide an insurance price break, especially in dry areas of the country that are most susceptible to fire damage. On the other hand, masonry homes could be much more expensive to insure against earthquake damage. Homeowners and potential buyers can review current building codes and materials recommendations at, the Web site for the Institute for Business and Home Safety.

Be aware of geography. Regardless of the homebuilding materials used, where you live can have a significant effect on your insurance premiums and coverage availability. Homeowners likely will pay more for insurance in areas prone to severe weather and natural disasters, such as tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes or wildfires. According to the Insurance Information Institute, the states paying the most for homeowners insurance in recent years have been Texas, Louisiana and Florida, all coastal states with above-average claims for water and wind damage.

Your rates also may be affected by the neighborhood you choose. For example, homes in close proximity to a fire department may cost less to insure. And while seclusion can have its advantages, it won’t lower your insurance rates if emergency vehicles may have difficulty reaching your home.

Know how much is enough. Studies from construction-cost estimator Marshall & Swift/Boeckh suggest that more than 60 percent of homeowners in the United States are underinsured, primarily because they don’t insure their homes to “replacement value.” Replacement value is what it would cost today to rebuild a home from the foundation up. Replacement value can differ substantially from market value, which represents what a willing buyer would pay for a home.

Since the cost of building materials has risen in recent years, it may cost more than market value to rebuild an older home. And if you’ve remodeled or renovated your house, your insurance coverage should be updated to reflect the home’s likely increase in replacement cost. Of course, increasing your insurance coverage will raise your monthly premiums, but it could save thousands of dollars in the long run if a major claim is necessary.
Float your way to complete coverage. While a standard homeowners policy will cover the structure of your home and some of your personal belongings, it may not provide full coverage for high-value possessions, such as coin collections and jewelry.
If you have specific items for which the value exceeds your policy limits, you may elect to add a “personal articles floater” to your coverage. Though rates will vary by state and for the actual item insured, you may be able to purchase a personal articles floater for as little as $30 a year to insure your most valuable possessions for their current purchase price or recent appraised value. Often used to fully insure engagement rings or electronics, “floaters” have no deductible and usually cover a broader range of claims, such as theft or loss away from the home.

Protect your financial assets. Repairing or replacing your property is only part of the homeowners insurance equation. Your policy can go much farther to protect your financial well-being through liability coverage.
As an example, if a visitor to your home falls down the stairs and is seriously injured, the visitor’s insurance company could hold you responsible for thousands of dollars in medical bills. In this type of situation, your homeowners policy would likely cover the costs up to a specified limit, and in certain cases it may even cover legal fees that arise.
But while standard policies typically offer $100,000 in liability protection, most insurance experts recommend $300,000 of coverage or more. Increased liability coverage is especially important for homeowners with potential safety hazards, such as a swimming pool.

Consider your comfort level. As you establish your homeowners insurance coverage, you’re able to choose your deductible level, which is the amount you will pay out of your pocket when you have a claim. Opting for a higher deductible, such as $1,000 instead of $500, can lower your monthly premiums significantly. Conversely, you may be more comfortable paying a higher premium each month for greater peace of mind should disaster strike. The choice is yours to make. Your insurance company can provide a variety of premium/deductible scenarios that will best suit your needs.

Home Insurance

What is Home Insurance?
Home insurance is your protection against financial losses due to damages to your home or to your possessions inside your home. Home insurance not only offers financial protection to your building, but it also covers all your materials stored inside like furniture, fittings, etc. In addition, most mortgage lenders will insist on home insurance for your home too (as their money is protected by the insurance if anything happens to your property or if you default on your payments). Home insurance is generally a term contract; a contract fixed only for a particular period of time.
Who needs home insurance?
All homeowners who cherish their homes and value the investments they made in building or buying their homes, and all tenants who treasure their valuable possessions inside their homes need home insurance.
Why do I need home insurance?
Buying a home is one of the biggest investments you will make in your lifetime. Not only will your home demand a lot of financial investment from your side, it will also need a lot of emotional investment. Should anything unfortunate happen to your home or any major investment, it will not only cause severe financial losses but will also cause emotional hardship. By having adequate home insurance, you are ensuring that you will be able to avoid or restrict financial damages in case something unfortunate happens to your home and your possessions inside it.
What are the benefits of home insurance?
Home insurance will cover your losses in case your home or your possessions inside it are damaged due to unexpected and unfortunate events. It may also offer you coverage for personal liability for you as well as for eligible family members and pets if you or any of them unwittingly damage or injure a guest or their property.  It may also cover the legal costs accrued because of incidences like this. In short, home insurance will protect you from financial losses if any damages are caused to you, your family members, guests and your home in the event of a natural disaster or event covered in your home insurance policy. However, not all home insurance policies will cover all natural disasters or manmade events. For example, some policies may cover earthquakes and terrorist attacks while some may not.
What are the types of home insurance?
Home insurance, generally, offers two types of insurance or coverages. One will cover the structure of your home and the other will cover for your possessions inside the structure. You can either opt for either one or both. Though coverages and rates may differ across home insurance companies, there are some general types of coverages that are offered by most insurance providers.

*HO-1 is a basic home insurance coverage that will protect your financial losses if your home is damaged by fire or lightning.
*HO-2 (broad coverage) will also cover damages as a result of theft, hail, smoke damage, glass breakage, windstorm, vandalism, riot, building collapse, damages from appliance malfunctions, falling objects, sleet, weight of snow/ice, etc.
*HO-3, which is the most popular among all home insurance buyers, will cover your home as well as detached structures.
*HO-4 is basically a tenant’s insurance policy, and will cover the possessions of the tenant against all perils that are covered by the HO-2 type. This may also cover medical expenses and additional living expenses, and offer liability protection.
*HO-6 is condominium insurance policy that will cover for damages to property not insured by the association’s policy. It will also cover the material inside the property and will offer personal liability protection, as well.
*HO-8, also known as the “Older Home” policy, is a special policy for homes that have been existence for some years.

What Do I Do Next?
Like other types of insurance, home insurance will also differ from home insurance company to home insurance company. The coverages offered and the rates quoted can differ from one home insurance provider to another. First, it is important that for you to understand what features you want in a home insurance policy. Once you have decided on the type of home insurance you need, you will need to study the coverages and rates offered by home insurance companies and then choose the right one that not only offers you the best features of protection but will also give you savings in the long run.

How to Decrease the Cost of Home Insurance

Homeowners insurance is a vital aspect to all homeowners, as the insurance will protect you in the case of a natural disaster, burglary, fire, or other terrible things that can occur in which you lose your home or your property.

Of course, everyone would like to save money on their homeowners insurance, but many have no idea what to do in order to decrease the cost without giving up this much needed protection.

There are seven ways you can decrease the cost of your home insurance.

1. Have a good credit score. Yes, insurance companies look at your credit insurance to determine if you are risky to insure. Those with low credit scores are deemed to be risky, so the better your credit score the lower your insurance costs.

2. Add security features to your home. Such gadgets as dead bolts, burglar alarms and motion detectors will help keep thieves out and also give you better rates on your home insurance.

3. Smoke detectors and fire alarms will help with fire prevention and will also lower your home insurance rates.

4. Keep your home maintained and up to date. Homes that are well-maintained do not caught fire due to faulty wiring and flood due to old rusty pipes. If your roof is frayed, you can even get a discount for adding a new roof to your home.

5. Combine your auto insurance, home insurance, and health insurance through the same company. Some insurance companies offer discounts will they take care of all your insurance needs.

6. Only get the coverage you need. You should not be paying for things you do not need in the policy. This can include insurance in case your dog bites a neighbor or does damage to the neighbors fence, if you no longer have a dog, you are paying for insurance you no longer need. If you live on top of mountain where it will never flood, you do not need to add flood insurance, and so on and so forth.

7. Compare! The easiest way to decrease the cost of your home insurance is by comparing the rates of local companies. All insurance companies offer different rates and you may be able to save hundreds of dollars just by comparing the coverage and rates of other insurance companies.

This guide should help you save all kinds of money when looking for the best home insurance. You can find a cheaper home insurance policy while ensuring you have the protection you need and deserve for your dream home.