Whether you’re buying your first home or your tenth, a homeowners insurance policy is essential. In most cases, it’s required to qualify for a mortgage loan. Your lender may even require you to have specific types of coverage under your policy.
Owning a home is always going to come with additional living expenses. But unlike unexpected repair bills, home insurance is something you can count on before you even buy your home.
If you’re looking for a new home insurance policy, call Lee Insurance Agency today at 281-812-8400 for a free quote!
We will help you find the coverage you need at a price that fits your budget.
Why Reliable Home Insurance Coverage Is Critical
There are several reasons you shouldn’t skip homeowners insurance. The first, of course, is that you will likely need at least minimal coverage to qualify for a mortgage. Beyond that, you should keep dwelling coverage even after you repay your home loan.
Your home insurance coverage will protect you from having to pay entirely out of pocket in a multitude of potential scenarios. For example, most policies will pay to repair or even rebuild your home in the event of theft or vandalism, fire, smoke, or weather damage from wind, lightning, or hail.
Along with covering damage to your home from certain unforeseeable events, your home insurance policy should also cover structures on your property like barns, garages, sheds, or outdoor fireplaces and fences.
While your standard homeowners’ insurance policy covers a lot, it won’t cover everything. You may need to carry separate insurance policies for some possible scenarios. For example, homeowners insurance doesn’t usually cover damage from floods or earthquakes.
With all the different types of coverage, it can be hard to know what sort of coverage you need. But it’s generally accepted that, at a minimum, you should have enough coverage to replace your home as well as its contents while covering living expenses if repairs mean you need to move or temporarily relocate.
Types of Homeowners Insurance to Consider
There are two main types of homeowners insurance policies to choose from. The first is called an actual cash value policy, and the second is a replacement cost policy.
An actual cash value policy will factor in things like depreciation and inflation. This means that the insurance company will reimburse you for only a percentage of the original cost.
For example, if your toilet, sink, and tub were a couple of decades old when you incurred water damage, then an actual cash value policy will only pay for a fraction of the original price. Because the reimbursement is often less than the cost to replace the item, these policies are usually the more budget-friendly, low-cost option.
On the other hand, a replacement cost policy doesn’t look at the original item but covers a comparable replacement. This means that if anything breaks, your insurance will reimburse you with the price of a reasonable substitute.
Because these policies will replace your items at current retail cost, they are often more expensive than actual cash value policies. However, if an emergency does happen, you’ll be glad you had the coverage.
There is a third type of coverage called guaranteed or extended replacement cost/value coverage, but it is more expensive than the other options. This plan will consider inflation and offer anywhere from 20% to 25% more than the replacement cost retail value for the item.
When it comes to rebuilding your home in the event of a fire or some other unexpected disaster, a replacement cost value policy is the best one to have. Because the price to rebuild your home will fluctuate as rapidly as the value of your home compared to what you paid, an actual cash value policy may not give you enough to cover all the repairs needed.
Benefits of Customizing Your Home Insurance Policy
Property insurance is something you might not have given much thought to before buying a home, but it’s vital to protect you, your home, and your belongings. You may be required to carry certain types of coverage, but overall, you can work with your home insurance agency to customize your policy to fit your needs.
Your mortgage company might require certain types of coverage, but you can still raise the deductible on the coverage you don’t feel you are as likely to need. You may also be able to save money on your homeowners’ insurance by having a home security system or smoke alarms installed.
While you may need to get coverage for floods and earthquakes separately, you can still customize a lot of your coverage. You may want a policy that will cover as much as possible, or you may be looking to get the minimum coverage you need to buy your home.
You may choose to skimp on areas like reimbursement for items within your home, but there are some areas where you are better off with full coverage and a lower deductible. For example, you’ll want liability insurance if someone gets injured on your property.
The best way to determine how much coverage you need is to add up the value of your home and possessions. From there, you can buy a policy based on the amount you would need to replace everything if something were to happen.
Customizing Coverage with the Right Homeowners Insurance Agency
Buying a homeowners insurance policy can be stressful and overwhelming at times, but it doesn’t have to be.
Working with the right insurance agency will help you go through your different coverage options and the rates for each option. This allows you to ask questions and make an informed decision before buying a home insurance policy.
Call 281-812-8400 today to speak to a Lee Insurance Agency team member and make the insurance process easier. We can help tailor your homeowners insurance coverage to your specific needs and preferences.