Do You Need Homeowners Insurance?
Most homeowners do need to buy a home insurance policy. If you still have a mortgage, your lender probably requires it. Even if you are one of those lucky ones who already has your mortgage paid off, your home is probably one of the most expensive things you own. You still probably need to cover it against damage.
What do policies cover?
This coverage, for homeowners, probably includes coverage for your building and property. It may also include liability insurance in case a visitor makes a claim against you. And finally, it should have some type of help for you if you need to find another place to live while your home is being repaired.
If you own a condo that is in a building with other condos, your association may cover the actual building and outside structures. But you will still need to cover personal property, have liability, and have relocation assistance. In this case, you will want to look for a condo owners policy.
If you rent, your landlord should cover the actual things he or she own. But you still have personal property inside of your apartment that will need to be covered. These days, many landlords require this. And that relocation coverage can come in very handy in case your rented home is damaged. This would be called renters insurance.
And if you are the landlord, you need to protect your investment. You will probably ask your tenant to take out renters insurance. You still need a landlord policy to protect your building and any other property you have on the site.
Get The Best Deal on Homeowners Insurance
Here are some expert tips on finding the best policy for your needs. Even if you already have a policy, it does not hurt to compare coverage every year or so. Prices and companies change, and you may find that a better deal is out there. Your own life changes too. You may not realize how some small change you made, like buying a security system, will affect your rates with different insurers.
Shop Around – These days it is very easy to compare insurance plans and premiums with online quotes. You simply enter your basic information in the online form, click submit, and then wait for information. This really beats calling around to several companies or agents.
Look for Home Insurance Discounts – It is not possible for me to make a blanket statement about which insurer is best for you. But many of the top companies offer discounts for things that are fairly easy to do. One company may give you a cheaper rate if you also more your auto policy to them. Another may give you a better rate for having good credit. Anti-theft devices, safety features, and home improvements may also qualify for some price breaks.
Consider Your Deductible – A deductible is the amount of money you have to pay before your insurance policy starts paying. Sometimes raising a $500 deductible to $1,000 can lower your premium by 20% or more. You will have to pay more if you need to make a claim. If you do raise your deductible, make sure you can make the higher payments. It would be a good idea to set aside some of your savings in an emergency fund.
Do Not Be Penny Wise and Pound Foolish – I would never tell anybody to give up on top quality coverage just to save a few dollars. You would not want to eliminate some essential protection to save a couple of dollars when it could cost you thousands if you do need to make a claim.