Whether you’re a new homeowner or have lived in your house for years, we know how important your home is to you. We’ll help you make sure you have the right coverage to protect your property, belongings, yourself and your guests without paying more than you have to.
What is Homeowners Insurance
Homeowners insurance is an insurance policy that protects you financially in the event that your home and property is damaged in a covered peril, or in the event of a covered lawsuit. Perils that are typically covered by a standard home insurance policy include fire, wind, lightning, hail and theft. While no one plans on losing their home or possessions to any of these perils, it unfortunately happens every day. Ask yourself this: If your home was ever destroyed in a fire, for example, how would you pay to rebuild your home? That’s where your homeowners insurance comes in. Homeowners insurance protects the investment you have made in your home by providing you with coverage for specific hazards. But your home insurance doesn’t stop there. In the event that someone was filing a lawsuit against you for accidental damage you caused to their property, how would you pay for the costly legal fees? Standard homeowners insurance also contains liability coverage that protects you and your family against lawsuits where another party finds you liable for damage to their property or person.
A standard home insurance policy typically covers fire, lightning, tornadoes, windstorms, hail, explosion, smoke, vandalism and theft. You can add protection for floods, earthquakes, water/sewer backup and identity theft, none of which are covered in standard policies. We also can help you increase limits for high-value items such as jewelry, furs, artwork and collectibles, which may not be fully protected in a standard policy.
In the event of a disaster, a home inventory can be your greatest asset. If your home is lost in a covered peril, your first call will be to your home insurance agent and your task of proving what was lost will begin. Will you remember everything you owned after it is gone? Especially in a time of crisis? Having a pre-established home inventory will take the headache out of that task- leaving you to focus on more important things. Download a Free Checklist When taking an inventory of your home, be sure to include everything you own except vehicles, animals and items that are insured under other policies. It is important to keep this document in a safe place outside of your home- such as in a safe deposit box or at a relative’s house. A few helpful reminders for creating your home inventory: List every item of value in your home Include serial numbers of items anywhere you can Continuously update your home inventory as you acquire new items If you have the receipt- include it! Take Photos- take close-up and wide-angle shots, use a color camera or video camera if possible and have a family member in all pictures to help prove ownership.
What Information do I Need to Provide to my Agent?
When asking for a home insurance quote, be prepared to answer some questions about your home and claims history. Having all of this information available beforehand can help you get a quote faster. Here is some of the information you may need to get a home insurance quote: Home Details such as square footage, construction type, roof age, etc. The amount of liability coverage you need If your home is your primary or secondary residence What type of pets you own (if any) Details about any home insurance claims you have filed in the past 5 years The age of your home and when your electrical, plumbing and heating were last updated Having this information handy can help speed along the quote process. Plus, the more accurate the information you provide, the more accurate your quote.
How Much Coverage Do I Need?
Many people question the amount of homeowners insurance they need to cover their home and possessions in the event of a flood, fire or other disaster. The amount of homeowners insurance you will need to purchase will cover the cost of the following: The structure of your home Your personal possessions The cost of additional living expenses in the case that your home is damaged and you must live somewhere else while repairs are performed Your liability to others for accidents that may happen at your home While considering the value of your homes structure for insurance purposes, please keep the following in mind: Your homes structure does not include the land that your home resides upon. In the event of a fire, flood or other disaster, your homes structure should be insured enough to cover the cost of rebuilding your home at current construction rates. This value is not contingent upon the price you paid for your home, or what you might be able to sell your home for today. Some banks will require you to purchase enough homeowners insurance to cover the amount of your mortgage. Although in some cases your loan amount might be less than the value of your home, you should still purchase enough homeowners insurance to cover the cost of rebuilding. Homeowners insurance is designed to protect your investment and should not be purchased only to meet bank requirements on your loan.
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