When it comes to your home, and everything inside that has value, it's important to keep those belongings and your home insured with homeowners insurance.
Homeowners insurance is required by most mortgage lenders. However, even if the house is paid off, homeowners insurance is extremely important to have in the case of a fire, disaster, break in, or any damage to property or personal belongings. There are many different types of insurance policies to cover your home, ranging from a very basic policy to more in-depth, extensive policies. Many insurance companies will also work with you if you have a vehicle to insure with them, giving you a nice multi-policy discount.
What Your Homeowners Policy Covers
In the case of damage or a disaster that destroys a home, homeowners insurance will cover the cost to replace the building, not necessarily the real estate or "market value" of the home. Keep in mind the value of the land is not included in homeowners insurance policies. Not all hazards are included in homeowners insurance, such as earthquakes or flooding. It's important to talk with your insurance agent about exactly what coverage is included or excluded regarding your home coverage policy. Extra insurance can usually be added on top of basic coverage, for perils such as flooding or earthquakes. Homeowners insurance typically includes much more than the cost to replace or fix damages of your home, though. It may also cover replacement costs for belongings that were damaged, as well as any outside structures of the house such as a garage, fencing, etc. Homeowners insurance covers liability issues, such as any law suits towards the owner in the case of damage to other property, or people who were injured on your property. If there's a period of time you can't stay in the home while damages are being fixed, homeowners insurance will cover additional living costs such as hotel bills, restaurant expense, etc.
Questions to Ask Your Insurance Agent About Homeowners Insurance
- What is the replacement cost of my home?
- Why is the replacement cost often so different from my tax assessed value, or the value of my home if I wanted to sell it?
- I've heard that there are cases where a home may have some repairs that need to be done before it can be insured. What criteria is looked at when determining the eligibility of a home for insurance?
- What additional coverages are available for my home to meet my insurance needs?
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