Home/Hazard insurance protects your home and your belongings against a range of perils such as fire, theft, wind, hail, and vandalism. It also includes liability coverage in case someone is injured at your home and makes a claim against you.
Some perils may not automatically be included in a policy, such as coverage against earthquakes or flooding. These coverages are available and able to be added to your policy, depending on the likelihood of such events in the area where you live.
If you own expensive items such as antiques, jewelry, watches, works of art, sports cards or toy collections, high-end home entertainment systems, or other valuables, you may need to buy additional protection to add to your policy to make sure those are covered properly. You may need to have appraisals or certificates of authenticity readily available as well.
What determines the cost of home insurance?
The cost of insuring your home depends on where you live, the current cost of labor and building materials and how much the property would cost to rebuild in the amount of a total loss, your deductible amount, and all of the additional “bells and whistles” you want to add to protect your belongings, like sewer and drain back up, sump pump overflow, scheduled items, and many others.
It is important to buy the proper amount of insurance to cover the calculated guaranteed replacement cost to rebuild your home with like kind and quality, not how much you bought the property for, or how much you could sell it for. We always use an up-to-date cost estimator tool, and enter all of the details on your home, such as square footage, room count, and dozens of other factors figured in to get an accurate rebuild cost. The cost of insuring your home will also be influenced by your location, with particular emphasis on burglary rates nearby, accessibility to fire hydrants, and the nearest fire station. You may be able to lower the cost of your home insurance by installing home security devices and raising your out-of-pocket deductible.
What is a RENTERS policy?
If you RENT a single-family home, apartment, or Condominium, the property owner will normally insure the building itself, but you are responsible for your personal possessions and Liability within your living space. You will need to purchase a RENTERS INSURANCE POLICY to protect your personal property in case of a covered loss, and any personal liability risks to which you might be exposed, like your dog biting someone inside of your apartment, or out on a walk, or one of your guests injuring themselves inside your apartment. Keep in mind, your Landlord is NOT responsible to cover any of your personal property either IN your apartment or in a storage locker in the basement, that is totally up to YOU. If you live in a multi-unit building and one of your neighboring tenants has a fire, and your apartment is damaged by smoke, fire, or water, and you have to stay in a motel while your house is being repaired, that will also be covered, along with other incidental expenses. Depending on how much personal property you want covered, a RENTERS POLICY should cost around $200 a year or less, so there really is no excuse to not have one!
What is an HO-6 Condominium Unit-Owners policy?
A Condominium is usually insured in 2 different policies, the Association BUILDING policy covers the outer walls, siding, gutters, roof, chimney, and most other outer areas, and is usually provided through your Condominium Association monthly Dues. All Association Master policies differ in what they actually cover, so check with your Condo Board for full details to avoid confusion. With an HO-6 condominium Unit-Owners policy, you are responsible to cover everything from the studs in, which includes drywall, windows, window treatments, flooring, cabinets, and everything that you leave behind if you sell it and move out, or have to repair or replace in the event of a claim. This is your COVERAGE A section of your policy. $5,000 in COVERAGE A is usually included, but I would not recommend less than $50,000, or much higher based on the included building materials. It also covers your Personal Property and Liability within your Condominium Unit. You can also add Sewer and Drain back-Up, scheduled items, and other endorsements. Again, these coverages are extremely important to discuss upfront, so you are not left paying huge out-of-pocket expenses at the time of a loss.
Is home insurance a legal requirement?
You are not required by law to insure your home or your personal property. However, if you have a mortgage, your lender will require that you have home insurance in place in case your property is destroyed. If they are informed that your home insurance has lapsed or canceled for any reason, they will undoubtedly put Force-Placed Insurance on your home, which normally costs twice as much, and only covers the bank’s financial interest on the home for the amount of your outstanding mortgage amount, NOT the guaranteed replacement value
Proper coverage on your Home Insurance policy is extremely important, so that in the event of a loss, you will be adequately protected, and not left under-insured and have to pay for extra out-of-pocket expenses. You can’t get good advice online, so call us today to discuss all of your coverage options, and then Relax…We’ve got you covered!