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Homeowners Insurance Information
Homes are susceptible to a variety of different unforeseen accidents. Because homes are often viewed as places of comfort and safety, acquiring a homeowners insurance policy is essential. Having homeowners insurance coverage can protect you from paying significant out-of-pocket costs if an accident occurs in your home.
What Is Homeowners Insurance?
Homeowners insurance exists to protect your personal belongings inside your home or damage to the structure of your home. Your insurer will provide you with financial assistance following an accident, such as a fire or a burglary, in exchange for an insurance premium.
What Is Included in Homeowners Insurance?
Homeowners insurance policies can vary depending on various factors, a primary one being location. A typical homeowners insurance policy might include the following coverages:
Dwelling coverage helps cover repairing or rebuilding damage to the house’s structure.
Other structures coverage assists in covering other buildings on the property, such as a garage or gazebo.
Liability coverage helps cover injury or damage to others and/or their property if the policyholder is held responsible.
Contents or personal property coverage helps cover clothes, furniture, electronics and other items in the home if damaged or lost due to a covered cause.
Once again, it’s important to note that policies can vary from homeowner to homeowner. Be sure to reach out to our agency to learn more about potential coverages to include in your insurance policy.
Frequently Asked Insurance Questions for New Home Buyers
Preparing to close on your new home is an exciting time ahead of a significant milestone. However, during this time, you must take steps and implement precautions to protect your new property and the substantial financial investment it represents. While you may know that homeowners insurance, also known as home insurance, is necessary to protect your new property financially, you should also ensure you understand this coverage.
What Should New Home Buyers Know About Insurance?
As its name suggests, homeowners insurance is an essential type of coverage that provides financial protection for your home and property. Although these policies may be customized and tailored to suit your needs and circumstances, there are generally three levels of coverage to consider:
- Actual cash value—This type of policy can reimburse you for losses involving your house and possessions but only for their current values as opposed to how much you may have originally paid for them.
- Replacement cost—Unlike actual cash value arrangements, these policies do not consider depreciation and can provide financial assistance to repair, replace or rebuild your property or possessions to their original values.
- Guaranteed/extended replacement cost—These policies can provide financial assistance to repair or rebuild your home even beyond coverage limits.
What Does Homeowners Insurance Cover?
Standard homeowners insurance policies generally include coverage for the following:
- Primary dwelling—This includes physical elements of your residence, such as its roof, foundations, plumbing and electrical systems and attached fixtures.
- Additional structures—This includes detached garages, sheds, guest houses and gazebos.
- Personal possessions—Your insurance may financially protect belongings such as furniture, electronics and clothing.
- Liability—If you are responsible for another party’s bodily injury or property damage, your homeowners insurance may help pay for resulting losses.
- Loss-of-use expenses—If a covered incident forces you to vacate your home temporarily, this coverage can help pay for those expenses, such as hotel accommodations and restaurant meals.
Is Homeowners Insurance Required?
Although homeowners insurance is not generally required by law, your lender will require it. This helps the lender cover their risk if you are financing your purchase. Even if you are not required to have homeowners insurance, it may be worthwhile to have coverage for the financial protection it provides.
How Does a Homeowners Insurance Claim Work?
Understanding how making a homeowners insurance claim works before you begin the process is helpful. In general, you should begin by taking the following steps:
1. Contact necessary parties—This may include your insurance company and, if a crime occurred, the police.
2. Document losses—Keep detailed records of damages, including photographic and video evidence. Make sure you conduct this process before making any repairs.
3. Obtain estimates—Contact qualified professionals and get quotes for the estimated cost of repairs.
After submission, a claims adjuster may visit your home to inspect your losses. Settlement payments may be offered at this time or at a later date. It’s also possible that settlements may be sent directly to your mortgage lender or to contractors hired to restore your property.
How Much Does Homeowners Insurance Cost?
Insurance companies must conduct a comprehensive analysis of your circumstances before providing an accurate quote for coverage. In most cases, this process will include consideration of the following:
- Construction details (e.g., materials, age)
- Property details (e.g., security systems, distance to fire stations, attractive nuisances)
- Policy details (e.g., coverage limits, deductibles)
How Can I Get Homeowners Insurance Coverage?
At Stastny Insurance Agency, we have the knowledge and experience to help homeowners in the Baltimore area protect themselves, their families and their property. We will work with you to assess your coverage needs and build optimal insurance policies. Visit our website or call 800-864-2645 to get started today.