Top Home Insurance Carriers
Pays for damage to the house and attached structures.
Pays for damage to structures not attached to the house (fences, sheds)
Pays the value of damaged or lost possessions (furniture, electronics, clothing).
Loss of Use
Pays some additional living expenses during home repair.
Covers financial losses from property damage and personal injuries to others, if found legally responsible.
Guest Medical Payments
Pays medical bills for people hurt on the homeowner’s property or by the homeowner’s pets.
Water & Drain Backup
Pays for losses to the house from sewer or drain backup.
Jewelry Guns, or Furs
Pays for losses including theft and mysterious disappearance of jewelry, guns, or furs up to a set limit.
There are many ways to save with your homeowners insurance.
- Car/Home Discount: Insuring your car and home with the same company often will give you a package discount. This is a good tool to use when shopping around. Usually the agent can tell you what percent the discount is for insuring your car and home together.
- Deductible: In some cases it makes sense to raise your deductible for the savings it may generate.
- Home Security Systems: Special burglar alarms can prevent losses and therefore make your house less of an insurance risk. Most any type of security system will help give you a discount, but the type that directly responds to local police and fire departments are most likely going to give you the most discount.
- Dead Bolt Locks: Most agents will ask you this, but check again to make sure you are not losing a discount if you already have them. If you don’t, it is well worth it. Dead bolt locks are very inexpensive compared to the possible insurance savings, but make sure all of your doors have them because usually the discount only applies if there are dead bolt locks on every door.
- Smoke Alarms: Preventing a fire loss is important to you and your insurance company. Claims due to fire are very expensive and insurance companies often will give an additional discount for even one fire alarm permanently fixed in the home. Please, even if your company does not offer a discount, take the time to install one anyway.
- Sprinkler System: While adding a sprinkler system (the fire suppression type not the lawn watering type) to a home may be costly, if you have considered it a discount is just another reason to do so. This would also be a something to consider if you are buying a new home or have plans to build or remodel.
- Non-Smoking Household: In looking for the most favorable types of customers, insurers look for those people who pose the least risk. Since a large percentage of accidental fires are caused by smoking, some insurance companies give a discount for non-smoking households. To qualify you would probably need to have a home in which you don’t let anyone else smoke in the home in addition to the homeowners being non-smokers.
- EFT Payments: Many companies are now charging up to $5.00 or more for mail payments, but sometimes nothing if you choose to have payments automatically deducted from your bank account. Sometimes the deductions can come from your credit card, so you don’t have to worry if the money will be in your bank account when payment time comes.
- Credit Rating: Most companies are checking your credit and basing some part of the cost of your policy on the strength of your credit rating. Make sure you check to see if your credit is in good shape, and if it is not, you may want to seek out companies who do not do credit checks.
- Additional Discounts: There are many additional discounts that may be available such as a reduced senior rate or being in a gated community or condominium. Make sure to sit down with your agent on a regular basis, preferably right before your policy renews, to see if there are any additional discounts available to you.
Most home insurance policies cover personal belongings up to a certain dollar amount. For items with a high-dollar value, we recommend scheduled personal property coverage. Jewelry, collectibles, and fine art, for example, can be properly protected when scheduled into your homeowners policy.
Only the owner of a property can buy the buildings insurance. If you’re not the building owner but you’re worried about appropriate buildings insurance, you can check with the building’s proprietor or landlord to check this cover is in place.
If you’re a tenant, you make want to look at contents insurance to make sure your personal possessions are covered.
Generally, insurance policies exclude damage caused by seepage, dry rot, or vermin (animal pests). This is because these problems are usually the result of poor maintenance, not a “sudden and accidental” event.
Replacement-cost coverage pays to replace your home and belongings with materials of “like kind and quality” at current prices. Actual cash-value policies reimburse the depreciated value.