For so many of us buying a home, home insurance is yet another line to add to the (extremely costly) bill that comes with all the pleasures of homeownership. Of course, there might be frustration regarding home insurance coverage; there are many associated costs with buying a home, and insurance coverage might seem like another “whatever” expense.
However, home insurance coverage is essential. Insurance from a trusted insurance company helps protect your home against a wide range of maladies and disasters, helping cover the costs and protect your home just in case the worst happens. It’s a vital part of buying a home.
So, what should new homeowners look for when they shop for home insurance? In this blog, we’ll explain exactly what it is and detail some good tips for shopping for home insurance – so you can save some money during the home buying process.
Home insurance coverage is the protection you get on your house and property if the worst happens. Policies cover most of the catastrophic things that could happen to your property—everything from fires and wind damage to accidents and lightning strikes. If something covered by your insurance happens to your home, your home insurance—just like car insurance or life insurance – pays for the property damage.
Home insurance, too, covers not only your actual home; the “dwelling coverage” part of insurance insures the other structures on your property (like the garage, for example) in case they get damaged. This insurance also provides security for your personal property—covering lawsuits and damages for those injured on your property through liability coverage, for example.
So, what do you have to look out for when shopping for home insurance? Here’s what you need to know:
“What does my homeowners insurance cover” is a question that home buyers need to ask, especially in certain geographic regions of the country Here’s something you might not know about home insurance: there are a few catastrophes most standard insurance plans may not cover. In certain parts of the country, not having those coverages may be devastating.
First, get a good sense of your property’s propensity for flooding. If you live in a low-lying area, an area near a water source, or any other area prone to flooding water damage regularly, you may need to purchase extra flood insurance on your home. Most standard insurance plans do not cover it.
Second, most insurance plans do not cover damage from earthquakes. It’s important to know whether your home resides on or near a fault line or in a place that has significant seismic activity. If so, you should invest in other earthquake insurance coverage that fills in that gap.
The risks of floods and earthquakes can vary by state and region, so be sure to get an accurate picture of those natural disasters before you purchase any insurance. Your real estate agent or the mortgage lender should give you a heads-up to those risks before purchasing.
Additionally, if there is any other specific damage you’re worried about, be sure to go over your policy with a keen eye to ensure that coverage gets included before you sign anything.
Like most insurance types, there are different levels and coverage options you can get—offering added protection but costing more money.
- Guaranteed replacement value provides all the coverage needed to rebuild your home, taking into account increased costs, inflation, and other elements that may extend beyond your home’s regular value. This is the highest level of coverage.
- Replacement cost covers the original value of your home and possessions. This is the middle level of coverage.
- Actual cash value covers your home and possessions’ cost but takes out a chunk of money for the cost of depreciation. This is the lowest level of coverage.
Take a look through those three levels and limits to see what you’re comfortable with for a covered loss. Additionally, think about if you’ll need coverage for other belongings within the home that might extend beyond your insurance coverage limits. Sit down and make a list of what you need before you start shopping.
Take a lesson for your cable bill when it comes to shopping for your insurance coverage – try “bundling” some of the insurance together. Many insurance companies will offer both home and auto insurance, for example, in one package. If you decide to lump your home and auto insurance in on the same bill every month, you might get a discount on your insurance rates. Check around for different companies in the area, or ask people you know about their own experiences. Get a few quotes from different sources to see which ones have the best rates, and then decide.
Our final piece of advice? Go with a provider you feel comfortable with! Sit down, do your research, make some calls, and go with the provider that fits your needs with their products and services—and one that you can be comfortable with if you need to file a claim. Insurance is a big part of your financial future. Go with the place that matches your wants and necessities.
As detailed, home insurance is a necessity in the homeownership process. Let the experts at LemonBrew Insurance bring you through every step of the process with our trademark white-glove service—providing the peace of mind to know your new home gets the protection it deserves. LemonBrew delivers the best of customer-centric sales and service, including state-of-the-art education and support through insurance coverage and loss protection techniques.
Check out our blog for anything else you might want to learn about the real estate process! On the LemonBrew blog, you’ll get in-depth explorations for everything real estate, including “7 Important Things to Check Before Buying a Home,” “3 Questions You Should Ask a Mortgage Broker or Direct Lender When Choosing One to Work With,” “6 Tips for Reviewing Your Real Estate Title Policy,” and “How a Real Estate Title Search Works.” Read the full LemonBrew blog here!