Homeowner’s insurance reimburses the property owner for losses or damage sustained to the home. Mortgage lenders mandate the purchase of homeowner’s insurance. With the abundance of policy options, homeowners have an ocean of choices to wade through.
Not all homeowner’s insurance policies are alike. Typical policies generally cover a wide variety of circumstances, not all of which involve property damage. If a roof collapses due to the weight of snow, a homeowner’s insurance policy will reimburse the cost of a motel if the home is uninhabitable. The same applies to an unexpected pipe burst. Limits to the coverage exist. College students who reside in an on-campus dorm have their property covered under their parents’ property insurance. In contrast, off-campus housing requires the purchase of a separate renter’s policy. Standard policies cover the cost of spoiled food in a fridge after a power outage.
One coverage exclusion applies to all homeowners’ insurance policies: flooding. Insurance companies in the United States require that flood insurance be purchased as a separate policy.
When shopping for policies, give thought to a few considerations that will help narrow down the options and help you choose the right policy for your home.
How to Choose the Right Policy for You
Obtain Multiple Insurance Quotes
When contacting various insurance companies, obtain a quote from each one. Compare not only the cost of coverage, but limits and deductibles. Online referral websites offer quotes based on answers to detailed questions.
When comparing quotes, be vigilant about what is covered. Lower-cost coverage may exclude particular circumstances. Consequently, when the home undergoes damage not covered by insurance and the claim is denied, the homeowner will be left with a financial setback.
The likelihood you will be contacting the insurance agent during a traumatic time, like a house fire or burglary, makes it important that the agent is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Check Out Ratings
The right insurance company has a solid track record for paying claims. Visit online home insurance rating sites to thoroughly research a potential company’s customer ratings.
Personal referrals from friends, family and neighbors are a reliable way to determine the reliability of an insurance company.
A.M. Best Company is a reputable source that offers third-party ratings on every US insurance company that provides homeowner’s insurance policies.
Know that Location Matters
When shopping for homeowner’s insurance policies, the geographical location of the home makes a sizeable difference in the cost of the premiums. A home situated in a vulnerable area, such as a flood zone, a tornado alley or an area with a high crime rate will prompt higher premiums.
Discounts can lead to saving thousands of dollars in insurance premiums over the course of several years.
A home that is secured with alarm systems, smoke detectors, and storm shutters is eligible for insurance discounts. The steps homeowners take to lessen the vulnerability of their home slashes the costs of premiums. A savvy shopper will install risk-reducing devices to not only protect the home but to qualify for important discounts.
Combining home, auto, and life insurance policies with the same provider also qualifies for a discount. Also consider loyalty programs, where premiums are reduced by committing to the same insurance company for a lengthy period of time.
High credit scores also are likely to lower the cost of homeowner’s insurance premiums.
Consider Deductible Options
The deductible is how much a homeowner will pay for losses before the insurance kicks in. Insurance policies may offer two deductible options: a percentage as a deductible and the traditional deductible. In the former, the deductible may be calculated as one to five percent of the insured value of the property. The traditional deductible is a standard, flat cost for which the homeowner is responsible in the event of damage.
Choosing a higher deductible means the monthly premiums will be lower, but in the case of loss or damage, the homeowner has a larger financial obligation after a claim. Selecting a lower deductible increases premiums, and the property owner shells out less after the claims process.
Research the Property’s History
Every home has a claims history that reports damages to the home, including fire, tornado, flooding, and other catastrophic events. Request the claims history from the seller. The claims history includes vital information that heavily weighs in on whether or not the home can be insured, and if so, how high the premiums will be.
The condition of the home impacts premiums. Claims due to faulty wiring or plumbing in older homes may dramatically spike the insurance premiums. Newer homes with updated electrical installations will be more cost-effective and easier to insure.
What Homeowners’ Insurance Policies Cover
Generally, home insurance policies cover the primary structure, additional property structures (like a deck), personal contents with the home, liability (when damages occur to another property) and the loss of the home’s use for an interim period.
Natural disasters and man-made destruction can turn a home into an uninhabitable structure. Water damage and fire damage are examples of common residential calamities. When water damage infiltrates your home, contact Dallas’ most reputable water damage restoration company, ServiceMaster of North Texas.
ServiceMaster of North Texas
Skilled technicians from ServiceMaster of North Texas quickly arrive onsite to evaluate the water damage. The water extraction process begins promptly. Advanced cleaning products and high-tech equipment ensure the home is returned to its pre-disaster condition swiftly.
Included in our disaster restoration services are sewage cleanup, fire damage restoration, flood damage restoration, water damage restoration, odor removal and complete reconstruction.
ServiceMaster of North Texas is experienced with restoring and rebuilding damaged properties. Our 30-year history of working with residential and business property owners gives the specialists the professional knowledge to accelerate the cleaning process and return your home to a livable state. Our technicians will also work with your homeowner’s insurance.
Our ServiceMaster of North Texas team stands by 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to take your emergency call. We dependably serve the North Texas community of residences and businesses.