Have you budgeted for home insurance? A home insurance policy is an essential requirement by mortgage lenders. Even when buying a home in cash, home insurance protects your house from losses and damage. However, most homeowners tend to go for whatever home insurance policy they come across. The following tips can help enhance your choice of home insurance.
Understand What the Policy Covers
The primary consideration when purchasing a homeowners' insurance policy is to check what it includes. Typically, home insurance covers the following three components:
- Dwellings – that covers the damage and loss on the house and external structures like a shed, fence, and garage
- Contents – offers coverage for loss or theft of personal property in the house, such as furniture and electronics
- Personal liability – that provides coverage for legal, medical, and repair costs incurred by a third party within your premises
The common perils under the listed components may include theft, fire, and water leaks. Therefore, take time to review your homeowners' insurance policy to understand the risks covered.
Consider Additional Protection
In addition to the listed perils, homeowners' insurance may allow you to get additional coverage. Thus, consider whether you require more protection depending on your location and type of belongings. For instance, you may need extra coverage for protection against natural disasters, such as floods, hurricanes, and wildfires. However, do not assume that you do not need the coverage if you are out of a disaster zone. Even if you get severe weather insurance coverage and live in a low-hazard area, you will benefit from low premiums. In addition, get coverage for expensive property like jewelry and artwork. Such items are often too valuable to get covered as regular property.
Seek for Insurance Discounts
Most insurance companies provide discounts to the policyholders based on specific criteria. Do not be afraid to ask or negotiate for homeowners' insurance discounts. For instance, you may get a deal if you bundle all your insurance needs with one insurer. Then, you can qualify for discounts if you live in a low-crime area or invest in security surveillance systems. Disaster resilience measures like retrofitted buildings, fire detectors, and regular home maintenance may give you lower premiums.
Consider the Deductible
The insurance deductible is one of the most critical features of a homeowners' insurance policy. In the insurance industry, the term deductible refers to the amount a policyholder pays out of pocket before the insurer takes over. Essentially, low deductibles translate to higher insurance premiums. Therefore, you should aim at striking an ideal balance to ensure that the policy is affordable but effective. Ultimately, budget for your deductible in case of a catastrophe requiring a claim.
Get Adequate Insurance
The thumb rule when getting insurance is always to get enough coverage. Essentially, compare the actual cash value and replacement value policies. In this case, replacement cost insurance will compensate you the total cost of replacing the property up to the maximum dollar amount. Conversely, actual cash value (ACV) considers the prevailing property price after the depreciation. Also, the ACV consideration factors include land, location, and market demand. Therefore, you can avoid over-insurance by considering the replacement value policy option since the ACV does not correlate with reconstruction. Notably, purchase loss of use coverage. With this extra coverage, you have a guarantee that the insurer will meet the additional living expenses if you relocate for repairs.
A home is a valuable asset that requires adequate protection through a homeowners' insurance policy. Take time to understand your coverage needs, and engage an insurance agent or broker to provide the best policy.