Your home is probably your largest investment, so you should consider homeowners insurance to protect that investment. Whether you live in your home or rent it as income property, homeowners insurance can save you money. Having the right type and amount of coverage can protect you from having to pay the full costs of unexpected damages to your home and the costs of bodily injury or property damage involving non-family members.
Basic Elements of Coverage
The basic homeowners insurance policy usually covers:
- Structural Damage - Protection against fire damage and damage caused by certain weather conditions.
- Personal Belongings - Covers household belongings including furniture, clothing and other possessions.
- Liability Coverage - Protects you if someone is injured on your property or has their property damaged while they are on your premises.
- Living Expenses - Provides you with funds for temporary living accommodations if you are not able to live in your damaged home while it is being repaired.
Additional Coverage May Be Necessary
A basic homeowners policy may not provide enough coverage:
- The location of your home may increase the risk of damage, requiring additional coverage for situations like the winds caused by tornados and hurricanes, floods, or earthquakes.
- The value of your possessions may require additional insurance. For example, expensive electronics, jewelry or furs may require additional coverage.
- The overall risk of insuring your home may be more than some insurance policies will cover, in which case a specialized high risk policy may be necessary.
Choosing an Insurance Company
The price of the insurance is always a key factor in selecting an insurance company, but other factors should also be considered such as:
- What types of coverage are available?
- Does the company have a good reputation on paying claims?
- Is there a 24/7 hotline to report claims?
- How quickly will a claims inspector inspect the damage?
- How long does it take to receive a payment on a claim?
- Can a claim be filed or reviewed for status on the Internet?
Homeowners Insurance Discounts
Many insurance companies provide discounts on homeowners insurance based on construction, security features and other factors such as:
- Use of fire resistant roofing and siding materials
- Use of smoke alarms
- Installation of a security system
- Having another insurance policy (such as auto or life insurance) from same company
Homeowners Insurance Summary
It pays to do your homework when shopping for homeowners insurance. There are many insurance companies offering a variety of policies. LoveToKnow Insurance can help you find the information you need to make a smart decision for your particular needs.