|Before you sign the papers and get the key to your new home, there is something else you need to take care of – homeowners insurance. A home is the most expensive investment most people will ever make. You want to make sure you are protecting your home and yourself against a catastrophe by getting the proper home insurance coverage.|
There are four primary types of coverage in the standard homeowner insurance policy:
Personal property coverage
Additional living expense coverage
Structural Coverage – What Does That Include?
The primary type of homeowners insurance is structural coverage. This type of insurance protects your physical building. Many lenders require structural property insurance to ensure the security of their loan.
When you compare home insurance quotes, make sure you are looking at the same type of coverage. While you typically expect to see the roof, walls, windows, doors, and floors covered by this insurance policy, you may also find it includes protection for pipes, fittings, and fixtures in the bathrooms and kitchen.
The standard homeowners insurance policy will not cover damage due to earthquakes, hurricanes, or floods. Daily wear and tear are also excluded from coverage. If you live in an area prone to flooding or natural disasters, such as hurricanes here in South Florida, you will also need to have flood and hurricane wind damage coverage.
To guard against water damage with the proper type of homeowners insurance, Florida residents can use the National Flood Insurance Program which provides flood insurance coverage.
Personal Property Coverage – What Is Included?
The next type of homeowners insurance is personal property coverage. Only you can determine how much coverage you need based on your belongings. Conducting an inventory of the items in your home is crucial to ensure you have enough coverage for replacing everything if your house burned to the ground and you lost everything. Of course, some items, such as photos are priceless.
Also called contents insurance, some policies limit the value of a particular item. For example, if you have expensive jewelry, electronics, paintings, or other valuables, you may need an appraisal and a “floater” to cover the item’s full value.
Liability Coverage – Why Do I Need It?
Liability coverage pays for any property damage or bodily injury caused to someone else by you, your family members, your pets, or your property. If someone slips and falls walking into your home, your insurance company will pay the medical bills. Also covered are all costs for defending you in court, as well as any monetary court awards to the injured party.
Your homeowners insurance liability coverage will not pay for damage to your property, or for injuries sustained by you or your family members.
Additional Living Expenses Coverage – Do I Need This?
Although you might not think it is important now, where will you go if something happens to your home and it is no longer livable? ALE coverage covers the cost of hotel stays, meals, and certain replacement items that you might need that have been lost in the damage to your home.
For people who rent out part of their home, ALE also reimburses the rent you would have received from your lessee had the home been livable.
How Do I Get Homeowners Insurance?
When looking to get coverage for a new home, you want to get at least three homeowners insurance quotes. It is essential to look at more than just the cost of the policies. You want to compare the type and amount of coverage and then check customer reviews. Because we live in South Florida, it is important to get a company that is responsive after storms or hurricanes. The last thing you want is to have buckets under various roof leaks while you wait weeks for an adjuster.
Ask your friends as well as your realtor for recommendations of homeowners insurance companies. Word of mouth says a lot as to a company’s reputation.
Finally, get your home insurance quotes before you make that final offer on a house. You will need to consider the cost of your insurance into your monthly payments. Forgetting to do this might place you in a situation you cannot afford.
When you are ready to buy or sell your next home, please call us at 352-686-0000.
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