What New Home Buyers Need to Know about Insurance
You’ve bought your first home. Now you need home insurance to protect your investment.
You’ve got lots of questions. Here are answers to the top 10 questions about home insurance.
1. What is home insurance?
Home insurance is a form of property insurance that protects your home and the personal property in it. It pays to repair or replace your belongings if your home is damaged by something covered in your home insurance policy.
2. What does home insurance cover?
Basic home insurance policies typically cover fire, hail, windstorm, smoke, explosion, lightning, vandalism, theft, and riot.
3. Do I need additional coverage?
Before purchasing your home insurance policy, understand what it covers and assess your needs. For example, you may need extra insurance for your home-based business, or you may want to add sewer backup or earthquake coverage if you live in a high-risk area.
Your Western home insurance expert will answer any questions you may have about what coverage to include with your home insurance policy.
4. What is a deductible?
Your deductible is the amount you pay when you make a home insurance claim. The rest is covered by your insurance company up to the policy limits. You can pay a lower premium by having a higher deductible, but you need to make sure your deductible is affordable.
5. Is all my personal property covered?
Your home insurance policy will cover the structure of your home and provides personal property coverage, but there are limits on coverage for your personal items. You may need a personal articles floater for high-value items like jewelry and electronics so that they are covered for their full value.
6. What is liability insurance and does home insurance provide it?
Home insurance protects not only your physical assets but also protects you from personal liability if someone is injured in an accident in your home. For example, if someone fell on your icy walkway, your home insurance would cover their medical bills and your legal costs if they filed a liability claim against you. This type of coverage is called third-party liability insurance and is included with basic home insurance policies.
7. How is my home insurance rate determined?
The cost of your home insurance is determined by how risky your home is to insure. Your insurer will consider many factors, like where you live, how old your home is, its replacement cost, how your home is heated, the type of electrical wiring it has, and the distance to the nearest fire hydrant and fire station.
8. Do I have to have home insurance?
You are not legally required to have home insurance, but you will be required to have it if you get a mortgage. This protects you and your lender if your home is damaged. If you are renting your home, your landlord may require you to have tenant, or renters, insurance. Like home insurance, renters’ insurance covers your belongings and provides liability coverage in case someone is injured in your home.
9. Does home insurance cover all disasters?
Though home insurance covers many risks you face as a homeowner, it does not cover everything, including some natural disasters and war. It generally does not cover earthquakes, floods, war, nuclear explosion, sewer backup, or power failure. You may be able to purchase additional coverage, known as an endorsement, for these risks.
10. How can I reduce my home insurance rate?
There are a few ways to reduce home insurance premiums. You may qualify for a discount when you purchase your car and home insurance from the same insurer or if you install a security system. Being claims-free for over a year, installing flood protection devices, or not having a mortgage can also help.
Western has home insurance experts across the country. Fill out the online form in one minute or contact us on the phone or in branch to find out how to reduce your home insurance rate.