Thinking about buying a home and wondering “when should I get homeowners insurance?”. Homeowner’s insurance is a critical piece of the pie for any homeowner. It is usually required if you are in the process of paying off your home. Much like medical insurance or vehicle insurance, it covers damages that the average person would not be able to afford out-of-pocket.
If your home is damaged due to weather, fire, vandalism, or items are stolen from your home, homeowner’s insurance covers the damages.
When Should I Get Homeowners Insurance? Important things to know about the purchasing process:
1) Basic homeowner’s insurance plans commonly do not cover some sorts of damage, including flooding and earthquakes. To cover these, you have to purchase extended coverage called a “rider.”
2) Extended coverage is commonly required for sheds, unattached garages, or other structures on the property.
When purchasing homeowner’s insurance, you can use an agent or you can purchase a policy yourself online. Working with an agent is a good idea if you aren’t confident in knowing everything you might need. If you purchase online, you should definitely use a list of coverages to see if they apply to you and make sure you purchase the coverage you need. Examples of what should be on such a list include:
- Expensive jewelry
- High-value collectibles
- Large firearm collections
- Fine art
- Designer clothing
The value of such items can exceed the amount of coverage your homeowner’s insurance may provide. Ask your agent or check this amount yourself in the policy and compare it to the value of your possessions.
In the event of a claim, it is useful to have an itemized list of the things in your home and what they’re worth. This list can be simple, but ensure you save it somewhere where if your house is destroyed you won’t lose it. A document kept on the cloud with Google, Microsoft, Apple, Dropbox, or another provider is perfect.
Another creative way to create and maintain a list is to shoot a video where you go through the items in your house, verbally discussing their monetary value. This is fast, helps ensure you don’t miss anything, and the video can be uploaded as a private video to YouTube or kept on another service. This helps establish a record of what was in the home and what you’re owed when you establish a claim for your loss.
There are other coverages you’ll want to make sure your policy has:
- Personal liability. This covers damage to others on your property. If someone is visiting you and happens to get hurt, especially due to something wrong with the home or dangerous on the property, their medical insurance may attempt to pass the responsibility for coverage on to you as the property owner. If this succeeds, your liability insurance takes over for the claim.
- Living expenses during home repair/replacement. Where will you live if you lose your home in a tornado or to a fire? How will you eat? Make sure your homeowner’s insurance covers these things and it will be much less of a concern while you’re dealing with disaster. If this is part of your coverage, your insurance company handles paying for a hotel or rental home while you wait for your home to be brought back to normal living conditions.
It’s critical to get the right coverage from a business you can trust. Make sure to check unbiased sources like Consumer Reports or the Better Business Bureau for ratings so you know you will be taken care of when a disaster strikes.
Contact Hosto Financial & Insurance Services if You’re Wondering “When Should I Get Homeowners Insurance?”
Understanding the basic types of home insurance is critical to making any home insurance decision. Once you understand the different coverage levels and policy add-ons, you can begin to determine what your needs and desires are when making your homeowners insurance company decision.
If you are seeking advice about getting home insurance, give us a call at (618) 779-5808.
Curious if the cost of your home will determine the cost of homeowners insurance policy? Find out here.