Home insurance is an important financial purchase, in that it protects you from financial losses and damages related to your property. However, not all homeowner’s insurance policies are the same. Premiums and rates can vary dramatically between insurers, as can coverage amounts. In New York, it is best to shop multiple carriers to determine who can provide you with the best coverage at the lowest rates.
When comparing home insurance, it is important to first determine the type of coverage you need for your property. Homeowner’s policies typically cover your home either for its market value or its replacement value. Market value represents the amount of money you could reasonably get for your home from a willing buyer. Replacement value is the amount of money it would cost you to completely replace your home.
If you are comparing policies between multiple insurers, be aware that market value will usually result in a lower premium than replacement value policies. However, experts recommend purchasing enough coverage to protect your home for its replacement value, as market values can fluctuate – possibly leaving you financially unprotected in case of a fire or other catastrophic event that results in a total loss of your home.
Geography and Home Insurance
New York’s geographical location could leave your home more prone to damage from hurricanes, winds and hail – especially if you live in the lower state counties. Be sure that any policy you purchase provides you with full protection against these types of hazards. Also, check your insurance company’s rating with the Better Business Bureau to learn of unresolved issues and complaints that other customers have had. For example, following Hurricane Katrina, some insurers refused to renew the insurance policies of some New York homeowners living in coastal regions. If an insurer you are considering has a record of non-renewals, choose another company.