What Should I Know About Homeowner's Insurance?
Whether you own or rent a house, condo or apartment, Homeowner's and Renter's Insurance coverage can provide important financial protection for the loss of your home and personal property. By becoming an informed insurance buyer you'll be prepared to find the best coverage at the lowest cost. Here's what you should know:
1. You Probably Need It | Homeowner's Insurance
The first and maybe most important thing to know is that, whether you live in a single-family home, condo, co-op, or apartment, you need some form of Homeowner's Insurance. If you own a home with a mortgage, your lender will require you to keep your home insured at all times. If your mortgage is paid off, then you'll obviously want to insure your property to prevent a large financial loss to yourself. If you're a renter, then you'll still need to purchase a form of homeowner's insurance, called "Renter's Insurance", which will cover your personal property - the things you own, like furniture, electronics and clothing.
2. It Covers a Lot | Homeowner's Insurance
Homeowner's and Renter's Insurance provides broad coverage against loss or damage to your property. It also protects you against liability for property damage or bodily injury to other's that you might be held responsible for.
3. But it Doesn't Cover Everything | Homeowner's Insurance
In addition to knowing what is covered, it's crucial to read your policy and have a very clear understanding of what is not covered. Specifically, you should carefully read the section titled "Exclusions". This is the part of every insurance policy that will describe the kinds of losses or exposures which may be covered only under certain scenarios, or which may not be covered at all. You should discuss coverage exclusions with your agent, especially if they fall within areas that you feel you may be exposed to a potential for loss. It may be possible to pay and additional premium to add an endorsement to your Homeowner's or Renter's Insurance policy that will extend your coverage to better fit your needs.
4. Bundle Up to Get Premium Discounts | Homeowner's Insurance
Most insurance companies provide discounted premiums if you buy more than one type of coverage from them. For example if you purchase your Homeowner's Insurance and your Auto Insurance from the same carrier, you could benefit from a premium discount of as much as 15%.
5. Smart Insurance Shopping Can Save You a Bundle | Home Insurance
Developing a lasting relationship with your insurance company is an important goal, but this doesn't mean blindly renewing your insurance coverage year after year, without paying attention to how your coverage and premiums stack up against other alternatives that might be available to you. Insurance companies operate in a competitive environment that requires them to be constantly innovating and increasing their operational efficiency, so that they can offer the lowest possible premiums to their policyholders. So, it's important to occasionally shop for insurance, which can be done through an independent agent, a direct agent, or on your own, using those companies that provide online insurance quotes.