Buying a home, whether it is for the first time or for your retirement, is an exciting time. However, it can also be stressful as there are several financial responsibilities attached to buying a house. Not only will you be responsible for a large mortgage, but also you will need to find the best homeowners insurance for your house.
Considerations for Homeowners Insurance
Homeowners insurance is a necessity as it is not only required by law, but your mortgage company will require you carry it as well. The type of homeowners insurance you buy will primarily depend on where you live. For instance, if your home is located in a flood plain, you may have to purchase additional coverage in case your home is damaged by floodwaters. Most standard policies do not cover floods.
Standard Homeowners Insurance Coverage
Standard homeowners' insurance policies provide coverage for your home in case it is damaged or destroyed by fire, hail, lightning, a tornado, hurricanes and any other disasters listed in the policy. Most homeowners' policies do not cover damage caused by a flood, including floods from hurricanes, an earthquake or routine wear and tear. Additional policies will need to be bought if you live in an area prone to earthquakes and/or floods.
A standard policy covers the structure of the house, other structures on the property like a detached garage or a tool shed, personal property, and loss of use. Loss of use means that if your home is damaged by fire or a tornado and you can no longer live there, your policy should cover you and your family's living expenses, whether you are staying in a hotel or renting a home temporarily. Usually, this reimbursement allows you to maintain a normal standard of living.
Personal Property Coverage
The best homeowners insurance policies will cover all of your and your family's personal property in case it is damaged or destroyed with your house or in case of theft. In some cases, your policy may cover some personal property even if it is stolen when away from your home. For example, if you decided to wear your best diamond necklace to a party and someone stole it from you, your homeowners insurance may cover your loss. However, coverage for jewelry may cost extra, as does coverage for any money you have at your home or firearms.
Finding the Best Plan
In order to find the best homeowners insurance for your new home, you should get quotes from at least four different companies. Discuss the type of coverage you need for your home, including any additional coverage you may need for personal property when you ask for a quote. Try to deal with companies that are "direct writers" instead of going through independent agents. You will save money by buying direct instead of going through an agent.
If you need help finding a homeowners plan, you can go through your state's insurance department to find a guide to insurance coverage in your area. Along with the big name insurance carriers that you may already have spoken to about coverage, they will also help identify smaller companies that provide coverage and offer competitive rates.
Some states also provide special coverage if you cannot find insurance coverage because of where your home is located. If you live in an area prone to hurricanes, you may not be able to find coverage from an insurance company, and you may have to go through the state's high-risk pool for coverage. You may also have problems finding coverage if the house is located in some urban settings, but your state should be able to provide insurance in that case.
Get a Discount
There are many ways you can save on homeowners insurance, such as buying your coverage from the same company that insures your automobiles. If you are considered a senior citizen, you may be able to get a discount through your insurance company. Take advantage of any discount you can find to help you save money.
The best homeowners insurance policy will be the one that provides coverage based on your needs. Discuss coverage options with the insurance companies you contact in order to get the best price you can for insurance.