Being a homeowner is exciting, but it comes with plenty of responsibility. One of the most important tasks you’ll have is buying a homeowners insurance policy. Not purchasing one can ruin your finances if disaster strikes. If you’re not sure where to start, this guide will walk you through the first steps.
Know How Much Homeowners Insurance Coverage You Need
One mistake homeowners often make is not purchasing enough homeowners insurance coverage. Your policy should cover the costs of rebuilding your home if it’s completely destroyed. The age, style, location, and size of your home can all have an impact on this aspect of your policy.
Your policy should also cover your personal belongings. For example, if your kitchen is destroyed, you want a policy that will help you rebuild your kitchen and replace your appliances and furniture. Finally, don’t forget any additional structures you may have on your property, such as a storage shed, swimming pool, or fence.
Understand What a Homeowners Insurance Policy Covers
Once you have an idea of what you want to cover, take a look at some different types of home insurance policies. While some will cost more than others, many homeowners find that the peace of mind broader coverage provides is worth it in the long run. For example, a basic actual cash value policy will cover the cost of rebuilding your home and replacing your belongings, but it factors in depreciation. A replacement cost value policy may cost a little more, but it doesn’t consider depreciation. An extended cost value policy will cover a percentage beyond your limit, usually around 25 percent.
Determine if You Want or Need Any Add-Ons
There are certain natural disasters most homeowners policies don’t cover, such as flooding and earthquakes. If you live in an area that’s prone to these issues, you may need to purchase additional coverage or a separate policy to cover these.
Other add-ons will vary from company to company as well. For example, some may offer extra coverage for any business materials you keep in your home. If you have high-value items, such as jewelry or artwork, you might choose to purchase scheduled personal property coverage that provides additional coverage for those expensive items.
Compare Coverage Options from Several Different Companies
Once you understand the type of homeowners insurance you need and what a policy might cover, you can start your search for the right company and policy. If you just bought your house, your real estate agent or mortgage broker may recommend someone. Otherwise, you can start by searching online or asking neighbors and friends in your area who they use. Check online reviews. Check each company’s website. Many of them provide tools that allow you to calculate how much your policy will cost. It’s typically recommended that you get quotes from at least three companies before making a decision.
For more information on buying homeowners insurance, call on the experienced agents at Altra Insurance Services. In addition to homeowners coverage, we offer a variety of reliable insurance products, including business, renters, and auto insurance. To learn more about our high-quality service and affordable coverage, call us today at (619) 404-6311.