Your house represents many of your most valuable possessions and memories, making it one of the most significant financial investments you’ll ever make. What if something bad happens in your home? Protecting your home should be one of your top priorities, including having home insurance to cover the cost of repairs or rebuilding.
Most homeowners indeed have home insurance, but it’s also true that most people don’t know what they have, why they have it, or what they need to buy to be fully covered against disasters and accidents. To help, you need to know about home insurance before you buy it so that you know what you’re paying for and whether or not you truly need the policy.
At O'BRIEN INSURANCE AGENCY, INC., we are here to educate you on the best home insurance policy. We also help you get the best coverage from a reliable insurance company.
It is important to understand home insurance coverage before engaging yourself.
Homeowners insurance refers to a type of insurance that protects your home from damage or loss. It does cover the building itself and also the personal belongings and property inside it.
The policy will typically cover losses due to theft, vandalism, fire, and natural disasters such as windstorms, hail, and flooding. However, the coverage will depend on the insurance coverage policy and provider.
Homeowners' insurance should provide coverage for both physical damage and liability. Some policies also provide coverage for living expenses when your home is uninhabitable due to a covered peril, such as fire or storm damage.
If you are renting your house, then most likely renters insurance is more suitable for protecting your contents.
The cost of homeowner's insurance depends on factors like where you live and how much coverage you want. In general, premiums are higher in urban areas with high crime rates and low ratings in rural areas.
If you’re looking to purchase home insurance in order to protect your assets, you may have heard this question before.
After all, knowing what your coverage does and does not cover can be difficult if you don’t know where to start looking! We’ll look at the basics of home insurance so that you can make an informed decision about how much coverage you need.
a standard homeowners insurance policy should have these coverage types:
When it comes to home insurance coverage, there is a lot that can be said. However, the most common and often overlooked type of coverage is dwelling coverage.
In order to fully understand what this type of coverage entails, you need to know how much dwelling coverage is and how it differs from other types of coverage. Dwelling coverage protects your house or apartment against things like fire damage, theft, vandalism, and some natural disasters.
It does not cover any personal belongings that may be inside the property at the time of the incident. That is because it only covers the structure and only reflects the cost you need to rebuild the house.
However, the cost does not depend on the current market value of the house in the real estate listing but is based on the construction and labor costs of your area.
There are also related coverage for other home structures you may have such as unattached garage or fence.
Your insurance policy will cover your personal property when it's inside your home. This includes everything from clothes to electronics and furniture.
In the event of a disaster like a fire or a flood, your coverage will cover the repair or replacement costs for these items - up to the limits you purchased on your policy. You'll need to keep receipts and take pictures to help make a claim if necessary.
You can also get additional coverage for certain items that might be particularly expensive like jewelry and art.
Depending on the insurance company, the coverage amount should range between 50% to 70% of your dwelling coverage.
Suppose your dwelling insurance amount is $500,000, while your personal content coverage is at 50%. The insurance company will pay $250,000 to cover your personal property. You can choose to buy more coverage for your personal property.
In some cases, property owners are required to purchase liability coverage for their real estate holdings.
Liability coverage can be purchased as part of a homeowners policy or as a separate policy. If you have a mortgage on your home, it is likely that the lender requires you to have this type of insurance in place before granting the loan.
Liability coverage protects the owner and guests from personal injury and property damage claims made against them by third parties if an accident occurs on their property. The insurance company will pay any legal settlements awarded against the insured in these types of lawsuits up to the limit of the policy’s face value.
Suppose your liability insurance is inadequate. In such scenarios, you're on the hook to pay the amount needed over your insurance coverage.
At O'BRIEN INSURANCE AGENCY, INC. we recommend our customers always buy enough liability insurance.
Some homeowners insurance policies include coverage for additional living expenses in the event that you need to temporarily relocate from your home because of a covered peril.
This is often referred to as loss of use coverage and can cover things like a hotel stay, restaurant meals, and other necessities.
It’s important to note that this isn’t intended to replace lost income or provide reimbursement for other financial losses due to damage caused by an insured peril.
However, the amount should be a percentage of the dwelling coverage amount. Some insurance companies allow you to buy more, once you think that amount isn't enough.
There is a home insurance cover set to match your living situation. If you need to find a suitable cover, whether it is your property or rent, get in touch with us at O'BRIEN INSURANCE AGENCY, INC.
Standard homeowners insurance policies are grouped in various ranges HO-1 to HO-8. These classifications provide specific levels of protection depending on the type of residence and homeowner's requirements.
We can help choose one of these major homeowners' coverages below. However, we also encourage you to know what's included in your policy before you buy it.
In general, if you're insured for actual cash value, the company will pay for the repair or replacement of the items lost based on the price the item had at the time it was damaged and its depreciation.
This will arrive at the current price the item is worth, instead of what you paid to buy it.
Replacement cost coverage means that any items damaged will be replaced with items like new ones at their current market value.
If you need homeowner's insurance with this feature, make sure you have enough coverage. A lot of people mistakenly think they have enough coverage when they don't because they either didn't read the contract carefully or thought that full replacement automatically meant full coverage.
While full replacement is not a synonym for full coverage, the two terms can be synonymous under some circumstances depending on how much coverage you purchased when buying your policy. And that is where O'BRIEN INSURANCE AGENCY, INC. comes in to help you understand the difference.
Guaranteed/Extended Replacement Cost/Value is different from both Actual Cash Value and Replacement Cost because it pays for 100% of repairs up to your limit even if the market value goes up during repairs!
The coverage is comprehensive since it considers inflation when paying for home rebuilding or repairing, It would also provide compensation after it exceeds the policy limit.
Other insurance companies will provide extended replacement which is a higher coverage than the one you purchased. Where the ceiling is about 20% to 25% more.
Most homeowners prefer this kind of insurance coverage because it provides a cover that helps you rebuild your property at its current value.
Some types of problems are excluded from standard home insurance coverage. These may include:
Ordinance of law. For example, when a government requires you to demolish, repair or rebuild a house to meet the local ordinances
Water damage, such as floods and water backup resulting from sewers and drains. A separate flood insurance policy can be purchased through the National Flood Insurance program or through our agency.
Earth movements, such as earthquakes, landslides, or sinkholes. Earthquake insurance can be added on to your home insurance policy by endorsement.
Neglect, including failure to maintain heat
Government action, including seizure of property
Wear and tear
Smoke from agricultural and industrial operations
Vermin, rodents, birds, and insects
Smog, dry rot, rust, and other corrosion
Damage caused by your animal
Discharge, migration, escape, seepage, or release of pollutants
Shrinking, expansion, settling, or bulging of bulkheads, footings, pavement, foundations, patios, roofs, walls, ceilings, and floors
Home insurance may seem like an unnecessary expense, especially if you’ve never had to use it before.
Still, without home insurance, your coverage options are limited in the event of emergencies like fire, theft, or vandalism.
Here are some of the reasons why you might be surprised to learn that you really do need home insurance.
For most homeowners, the main structure of their home is the most important thing to protect. This includes anything that goes into making up your house's foundation, walls, and roof.
If any of these are damaged, you may need to hire a contractor to make repairs. In addition to paying for these repairs, you will also have to cover the cost of living in a hotel or staying with family while your house is being repaired.
So even if you don't have expensive items inside your home, it's still worthwhile to invest in homeowner's insurance. One good example would be renting out your property - many landlords require tenants to sign an agreement stating they're responsible for insuring their own possessions.
Some homeowners' policies may not include coverage on detached structures like garages and sheds; this means they could become total losses following natural disasters like floods, earthquakes, tornadoes, and hail storms.
However, we recommend insuring 100% of your property value. The insurance cover should cater to major damages, minor damages, and total replacement costs.
A typical homeowners insurance policy protects your belongings in the event of a fire or other disaster. Depending on the home insurance you choose, it should cover the cost of replacing your belongings. These include electronics, furniture, and more.
It can help pay for the cost of temporary housing, if necessary, and for moving costs too. Some policies also cover living expenses (like food) for up to certain weeks if you're evacuated from your home due to a natural disaster.
A key factor that affects the amount you will be paid out by an insurer for damages caused by a disaster is called the deductible. A high deductible means lower premiums, but it will also mean that the insured person will need to pay more before they are compensated.
If you have pets, it's important to check with your insurer because not all companies offer coverage for pet damage.
Your Homeowners insurance policy can also cover detached structures on the property. This type of coverage typically includes, but is not limited to: damage to or loss of the home due to fire, lightning, windstorm, or hail; damage caused by vandalism or malicious mischief; and damage from falling trees.
These structures include a fence, garage, shed, deck, and others.
You never know when Mother Nature is going to decide to unleash her fury on your home. Tornadoes, hurricanes, fires, and earthquakes are just some of the natural disasters that can strike without warning.
And once one disaster has struck, it is only a matter of time before another one occurs. But these natural disasters are not the only thing you need to worry about when it comes to protecting your home from disaster.
The kitchen sink could be backed up or even broken altogether, which could lead to water damage in the home. Appliances like dishwashers and washing machines could malfunction, leading to more water damage as well as fire hazards.
If your heating system malfunctions or if there's an electrical issue with your wiring, this too could lead to water damage as well as fire hazards. So, insurance coverage could help protect your property from natural disasters.
Home insurance is an inexpensive way to protect your home and everything that you own. In a worst-case scenario, your house could be damaged in a fire, flood, or natural disaster.
Without homeowner's insurance, you would have to pay out of pocket to repair the damage or rebuild your home - which can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Not only that but if you have homeowner's insurance and something happens to your property, the costs for damages could be covered by your homeowner's insurance.
Most people think of home insurance as a way to protect their assets and loved ones in the event of a disaster, but home insurance is much more than that.
Peace-of-Mind is one thing that home insurance does for you. It provides peace of mind knowing that you have protection from any unforeseen circumstance. It also covers any damages which may be caused to your property by others or even acts of nature.
With this homeowners insurance company coverage, you don't have to worry about how you will pay for repairs after an earthquake or need to face the aftermath on your own if someone breaks into your house while it's vacant.
If you're like most people, your home is your biggest investment. It's also likely the largest liability you'll ever have to manage. That's why it's so important to protect it with a policy that meets your needs and protects you from unexpected life events.
A good place to start is by checking with your lender about any requirements they may have for homeowners insurance. For example, many lenders will require you to purchase coverage if you have a mortgage on the property that exceeds 80% of the value of the house or if there are any loans secured by the property that total more than 50%.
You'll need to show proof of homeowners insurance when you apply for a mortgage. It's also important to know that your homeowners' insurance covers any damages from an earthquake, hurricane, or other natural disasters.
An insurance cover will protect you financially in case of a fire, theft, or other unforeseen events. They ensure your investment is protected if anything happens to your home.
When you're shopping for a home insurance policy, it's important to understand what the policy does and doesn't cover. Here are some things to consider when looking for a home insurance policy that suits your needs.
Talk to an agent who will be able to help you figure out which coverage is best for you and your family. Call us to get your homeowners insurance quote.
Find out what is and isn't covered by your homeowners' insurance before getting a quote or signing up with a company.
You may have special coverage requirements, depending on the type of property you have or live in and where you live. For example, if you live in a flood zone or are near certain natural disaster areas like wildfire zones and earthquake fault lines, these factors can determine what kind of coverage you need.
If you have items such as jewelry, silverware, guns, etc. you might consider a floater which covers those items specifically under an endorsement known as a floater.
Still, want to know more about home insurance companies and their coverage? At O'BRIEN INSURANCE AGENCY, INC. in La Crosse, WI., we come across many questions related to home insurance. We have tried our best to discuss some of the commonly asked questions below. In the event of a homeowners insurance claim please call our office immediately.
Homeowners insurance is a policy that protects your home and possessions against events such as fire, theft, or natural disasters. There are three types of homeowners insurance available: Actual Cash Value, Replacement Cost, and Guaranteed/Extended Replacement Cost/Value. Make sure you know what's included in your policy before you buy it.
One of the biggest expenses in homeowners insurance is the deductible. As a homeowner, you want to make sure that your deductible isn't too high. The 80% rule says that your total home insurance cost should be no more than 80% of what it would cost if you replaced everything in your home with brand-new items.
Homeowners insurance is designed to help protect you from financial devastation in the event of a catastrophe. To do this, homeowners insurance typically covers four things: your dwelling, personal property, liability, and additional living expenses. Although it's wise to compare companies it is not always best to go with the cheapest homeowners insurance companies.
Property damage includes losses like fire or storm damage to your home or other structures on your property. Liability coverage protects you from being liable for any damages you may cause to someone else's property, injury or death. Personal property coverage reimburses you if a burglary or other calamity destroys your belongings. Additional living expenses cover temporary housing and other relocation costs if your home becomes uninhabitable due to a covered disaster.
There are many reasons to choose O'BRIEN INSURANCE AGENCY, INC. in La Crosse, WI. for your homeowners insurance coverage. So you can rest easy knowing that if disaster strikes, you'll have a local agency that can walk you through the claims process. We also get you a variety of policy options so you can pick one that best fits your needs, and our customer service team is always available to answer any questions or concerns you may have. Get in touch today! .