Home insurance, also known as house cover, is a must-have for every homeowner. It protects you from various factors and events that are beyond your control. These factors include but are not limited to fire, flood, strong winds, and other natural or man-made disasters. Additionally, your home needs to be insured against theft. Mortgage companies demand that house owners get coverage for their landed properties.
Surprisingly, you do not need to have a home before you take advantage of this option. As a tenant, you have your apartment covered, regardless of the type and size. You can utilize the renter’s insurance coverage which will have your home insured. In this article, we will put you through various factors you need to know about insuring your home.
Key Points To Note
- Your home cover policy covers the destruction and damage of your home’s interior and exterior. In addition to these, it covers personal accountability for harm done to others and the loss or theft of your properties.
- There are three fundamental categories of a home insurance policy: actual cash value, replacement cost, and extended replacement cost/value.
- The insurer weighs the risk of you filing a claim and then determines the policy rates. Such risks are being analyzed based on previous claim history connected to the home, its condition, and the neighbourhood.
- It is important to check out a minimum of five insurance companies when shopping for a policy that meets your needs.
Home Insurance Policy Coverage
Despite the fact that home insurance policies can be customized to meet specific demands, there are basic conventional elements that determine the costs that are covered by the insurer.
1. Interior and Exterior Damage of Your Home
Your insurance coverage covers disasters that include lightning, fire, vandalism, hurricanes, and other covered disasters. In such situations, you will be compensated by your insurer in order to repair or rebuild your home. Although the coverage does not include mutilation or destruction resulting from earthquake, flood, or poor home upkeep.
For these events, you can request for separate riders for such protection. Separate insurance would be needed for sheds, free-standing garages, and other items on the property. In an event where your clothing, appliances, furniture, and other items in your home get destroyed in an insured disaster, you will be compensated.
A claim can be filed for lost jewellery using the “off-premises” coverage. Although, the amount you would get in compensation may be limited. Nevertheless, based on the information provided by the Insurance Information Institute, the coverage provided by most insurance companies cover 50% to 70% of the amount of insurance taken on your home. This implies that if your apartment is insured for $300,000 US, you would be given coverage worth $210,000 US.
You can place your high-priced possessions on an itemized schedule; have them covered by a rider. A separate policy may even be needed.
2. Liability Coverage for Injuries and Damages
Having this form of coverage ensures that you are protected against any lawsuit filed against you. This coverage even includes your pets. Hence, should your neighbour or any other individual get attacked and injured by your dog or cat, the individual will be compensated by your insurance company.
Although covers can be offered for as little as $100,000, it is recommended by the Insurance Information Institute that you have an insurance policy coverage of at least $300,000. Increasing your premium insurance coverage by a few hundreds of dollars can earn you an extra $1 million US.
3. Additional Living Expenses Coverage
In a situation where you have to leave your home while it is being repaired or rebuilt, you would need this form of insurance. With this type of insurance, your hotel rent, house rent, restaurant meals, and other incurring costs will be covered by your insurance company.
However, this coverage has strict daily and total limits. Nevertheless, they can be expanded by paying more in coverage.
Types of Home Insurance Policy Coverage
Not all insurance policies are the same. With the least insurance policy comes the least amount of coverage. In the United States, there are different home insurance policies that have been standardized and assigned various levels, from HO-1 to HO-8. They come with various protections based on the needs of the house owner and the type of residence covered in the insurance.
Actual Cash Value
This insurance covers the value of the house and your personal items after removing depreciation - the current value of your properties.
This policy offers coverage on the real cash value of your home and your belongings. Depreciation is not a factor when offering this coverage. Hence, you can repair or rebuild your home based on its original value.
Guaranteed Replacement Cost/Value
This is the most robust home insurance policy you can come across. It covers whatever cost is incurred in repairing or rebuilding your own, even these costs are greater than your policy limit. Some insurers offer this policy, which means you get more than you purchased. However, this has a threshold. This coverage is 20% to 25% greater than the limit.
Most home insurance experts advise that homeowners go for this policy as they will not just be paying to cover the value of their homes, they will also be covering the cost needed to rebuild their homes in current value, as the cost would have increased over time.
Factors Not Covered By Household Cover Policies
There are certain events that a home insurance policy does not cover. Factors such as natural disasters, war, and other acts of God are not covered by this policy. However, if you live in a flood-, earthquake- or hurricane-prone area, it would be ideal to get riders or a separate policy that covers these incidents.
You can also get coverage on your sewer or drainage backup. In the case of identity theft, identity recovery coverage would be worth having.
All the policies are great. Nonetheless, they can be costly. If you feel the costs are way beyond your budget, you can check out these tips that will help you cut insurance costs:
- Ensure you have a functional security system.
- Increase your deductible
- Checkout multiple policy discounts
- Proper planning is needed for renovation
- Offset your mortgage.
If you would like to know more about home insurance or would need help securing one, please visit this link: cheapest household cover.