Buying a home is the largest investment most people make over their lifetimes. It is important to protect your investment. Homeowner’s insurance does just that in the event you suffer a partial or total loss due to events such as fire or theft.
Part 1 of 4: Getting good cover
1. Shop around before you buy homeowners insurance. Coverage, policies and cost will vary among insurance carriers so get several quotes. Doing your homework will help you get the most protection for your money.
2. Get the right homeowners insurance for your property. Single-family dwellings are covered by a typical policy. Condominiums and co-ops require policies that also cover the structure’s interior, like walls, cabinets and light fixtures. Landlords must purchase a “dwelling fire” or “commercial property” policy.
Part 2 of 4: Understanding what’s covered
1. Find out what is covered under a standard homeowners insurance policy.Typically, this includes general coverage for any damages to the dwelling and any fixed buildings on the property; destruction of personal property; restricted compensation for pilfered jewelry; personal liability associated with owning a home; and provisional living expenses in the event your home is uninhabitable.
- Look at all the details that are covered by each home insurance policy, since some insurance companies have different packages for home insurance and also have different costs.
2. Understand that your policy’s liability limits govern the amount of insurance coverage you should have if your dwelling is damaged or destroyed. Usually, $100,000 is the threshold amount for these limits. Liability limits between $300,000 and $500,000 are recommended, depending on the property’s assessed value.
Part 3 of 4: Finalizing the policy
1. Have the basic information about your property on hand before calling the insurance company. You should know the age of the structure, including the plumbing and electrical systems; the kind of roof; the dwelling’s square footage; and the number of insurance claims, if any, that were filed within the last five years.
- You should know the value of your home, the value of your home its contents, the kind of roof and such information that will allow the home insurance company to give you a more accurate insurance quote that can lower your premium.
2. Ensure that the insurance cover caters to your specific needs. For an example, the terms or the risk covered by homeowner insurance for a countryside home may be very different from those of a city apartment
3. Go through the legal insurance document that contains all the terms of your home insurance. This is so that you can know what your duties and your obligations, and you know what the insurance company’s duties and obligations consist of. It is really important to know all the details of the home insurance in order to avoid any surprises when you least need them.
4. Decide if you want to include “endorsements” when buying homeowners insurance. For an extra charge you can increase your protection to include “guaranteed” and “extended” replacement costs; “inflation guard” so your policy will automatically keep pace with inflation; scheduled personal property for jewelry, valuables, such as antiques, and firearms; second homes; and extended protection against theft and stolen or forged credit cards.
5. Ask about available discounts to help lower your homeowners insurance premiums. Most insurance carriers will reward policyholders for having smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, sprinkler and home security systems and deadbolt locks. Combining your car and homeowners policies with a single insurance agent will yield a savings on both. Discounts also may be available for those who are 50 and older.
Part 4 of 4: Maintaining insurance
1. Evaluate your homeowners policy every year to determine if it needs updating. Any remodeling or upgrades to existing structures must be reflected in your policy to ensure you have adequate coverage.
Sources and Citations : http://www.wikihow.com/Buy-Homeowner%27s-Insurance