When you purchase a homeowner’s insurance policy, your primary concern is probably protecting your personal assets and the structure of your house from potential hazards, such as fire, hail or theft. However, an important part of purchasing a home insurance policy in New York is including homeowner’s liability protection.
Liability for home insurance protects you in case another person becomes injured on your property. This includes not only individuals who you personally invite to your home, but also those who trespass on your property without your permission. It will pay for the medical expenses of someone who is injured for any covered reason on your property, whether that be tripping over your area rug or suffering an injury while swimming in your pool.
Without proper liability coverage, an injured person may sue you personally in a New York court. If he or she receives a favorable judgment, you may have to pay for medical expenses and other losses out of your pocket. Instead, be sure to include homeowner’s liability coverage in your policy.
Although most New York home insurance policies already have such provisions, make sure your policy has at least $300,000 in homeowner’s liability coverage. Your liability policy should provide medical and personal property damage protection to others at your home, as well as payment for your own legal defense fees related to an accident on your property.
If you are like most Americans, your home is one of your most valuable assets. A home with a paid off mortgage contributes significantly to your net worth and provides added financial security. It only makes sense to protect your investment with homeowner’s insurance. You should not eliminate your homeowner’s policy just because you no longer have a mortgage that requires insurance coverage. Furthermore, a paid mortgage doesn’t necessarily mean you are not required to carry insurance on your property anymore. For example, if you have a home equity loan or line of credit, your lender likely requires you to insure your home, which serves as collateral to secure your debt.
Some homeowners opt to downgrade home insurance after paying off a mortgage rather than eliminate it altogether. Though this is a better option than cancelling your homeowner’s policy, it still provides you with limited protection against unforeseen circumstances. Before making the decision to downgrade your policy, consider your financial ability to recover your losses should your home catch on fire, fall victim to a burglary or suffer other damages. After all, homeowner’s insurance doesn’t just cover your structure; it also provides compensation for your personal possessions, such as furniture and electronics.
If your goal is to save money by cancelling or lowering the value of your insurance policy, consider alternative ways of reducing your annual premiums. For instance, many insurers provide discounts to homeowners who are claim-free for an extended period of time. A monitored home security system could also lower premiums as will a high policy deductible. You may also be able to get a discount if you carry automotive insurance through the same insurer that you have your homeowner’s policy through. When in doubt, ask your insurance agent for advice on achieving a lower premium without affecting your coverage.
Homeowners insurance does not always cover the damages your home faces. Sometimes, the most costly problems receive not attention from your insurance provider. It is a good idea to know what your policy offers and what it does not offer prior to agreeing to the terms. When it comes to your home’s foundation, there may be no other portion of the home more important to maintain. What happens if the soil expansion occurring near the foundation becomes too much for the walls and this leads to the development of cracks?
It Depends on your Policy
Every homeowner’s policy is different and ultimately you and your insurance agent need to determine if such a problem is covered. In most policies, general maintenance is not considered a covered expense. It is up to your insurance company to determine if soil expansion is in fact a type of maintenance. This is often a loose definition, which means you could be in for a fact-finding process to determine the cause of the problem.
In general, it is considered maintenance if your foundation is damaged from soil expansion. Most of the time, soil expansion occurs because of moisture within the soil (such as from rain or snow) getting into the soil and freezing. As it freezes, it causes the soil and space to expand. If this occurs, it can cause cracks in the foundation walls especially in severe situations. Most types of water damage are not covered under homeowner’s insurance policies because maintaining the foundation is the homeowner’s responsibility.
In other cases, it may be. If you have an all-risk policy and it does not have any exclusion for foundation problems, your insurance company may be responsible for this repair. Additionally, if your foundation damage occurred because of a pipe bursting which lead to the soil expansion (due to the freezing of the water) this may lead to a covered incident.
Unfortunately, it is up to you to maintain your home’s foundation. If you fail to do so and it is due to poor maintenance that the cracks occurred, your agent may be unable to help you. However, there is no reason not to contact the company and to determine if this type of occurrence is covered. If this is a big problem where you live, ensure your all-risk policy includes foundation protection from such incidents.
Homeowners insurance is designed to protect your house (the physical structure,) and your property. Under some circumstances, there is no law or other requirement to force a homeowner to purchase homeowners insurance in order to own a home. Many people who own older homes don’t insure the home, but if you don’t purchase homeowners insurance, you could lose everything, and be forced to face financial destitution. There are circumstances under which you absolutely have to purchase homeowners insurance in order to complete the transaction for the purchase of the home. Who Doesn’t Have to Have Homeowners Insurance? If you are building or buying a home and don’t need a mortgage to pay for the home, you won’t be forced to purchase homeowners insurance. In a case like this, if you don’t purchase homeowners insurance, any catastrophe could wipe out all of the equity you had in the home, and you would be left without the finances to either repair or replace your property. You would lose everything. When Purchasing a Condo If you buy a condo, the physical structure is insured under the property owner’s insurance. If you pay for the condo in full, and don’t need to borrow the money to finance the purchase, you don’t have to purchase homeowners insurance, but without doing so, you have no protection for any of your personal property. This is another situation where you could face financial ruin. Mortgages to Buy or Build a Home or Condo If you borrow money in the form of a mortgage, whether to build a new home, or to purchase an existing one, the lender will demand proof that you have a homeowner’s insurance policy. Unless you can bring your lender a copy of the policy as proof that the home is insured, none of the papers that finalize the mortgage can go through. You will also be required to include the lender as a co-beneficiary on the policy. The reason for this is to provide the lender with the assurance that if the home is destroyed by something that is specifically covered by the policy, the lender will recoup their money as soon as the insurance company issues a check that is made out to both you and the lender. Since the check is made out to two beneficiaries (you and the lender,) you won’t be able to cash the check without the lender’s signature. The insurance money is supposed to cover whatever is still owed on the mortgage. If the amount of the check is for more than what you still owe on the mortgage, the extra money goes to you. Homeowners insurance isn’t that different than health insurance. In both cases, you are paying to insure something of great value (yourself, your family members, or your home and property,) in case of something catastrophic. Without the homeowners insurance, you could be totally wiped out financially, without resources to rebuild your destroyed home, or repair any damage. Since you also insure the contents of the home, homeowners insurance provides you with the assurance and peace of mind that you will be able to get enough money to replace lost possessions – as long as you insure your property for replacement as opposed to actual value.)
If you own a home, chances are you have homeowner’s insurance to protect the investment you’ve made in your property. Although home insurance is an important way to guard against major repair and replacement expenses, most homeowners wouldn’t mind a lower rate for their insurance premiums. Fortunately, there are ways for your to save on home insurance without sacrificing your coverage.
Do More to Protect Your Property
One of the most common discounts that insurers shell out to homeowners involves the additional safety measures taken to avoid insurance claims. For example, insurers may ask you if you have a monitored alarm system, which can equate to as much as a 20 percent discount in premiums. Other safety discounts may be available for a fence around your pool or extra fire alarms and extinguishers.
Raise Your Deductible
Your deductible is the amount of money you must pay out of your pocket before your insurance company will pay a penny for your claims. The higher your deductible is, the lower your premium will be. Depending on your policy and the amount of coverage you have, raising your deductible from $500 to one percent of your home’s property value could equate to hundreds of dollars per year in savings.
Purchase Multiple Policies
Unless you live in a pedestrian-friendly community, chances are that if you own a home, you also have a car to insure. Insurance companies like it when their customers purchase multiple insurance policies from them and are willing to dole out discounts for having both your home and auto insurance policies secured by the same provider. If you do not need auto insurance, ask your home insurer if multiple policy discounts are available for purchasing other types of insurance, such as life insurance or coverage for a recreational vehicle.
Compare Home Insurance Rates
Ultimately, the amount of money you pay for home insurance is directly correlated to the company you choose to be your provider. Every insurance company has a different formula for determining how much to charge each customer in premiums, and the company that is most affordable for a friend or family member may not necessarily offer the best rate to you. Be sure to shop around and compare home insurance rates from a private insurance broker who offers quotes for multiple companies. You’ll save time getting quotes from each company individually and you won’t feel pressured to purchase from any particlur one.
Your auto insurance company will pay for damage done to your car and will also pay if your entire car is stolen, but what if a few important items were stolen from the car while in the parking lot of the mall or another public area? This is a common concern for many drivers because some cars hold items of especially high value that would be devastating to lose completely due to theft. This could include a top notch sound system, expensive electronics, multiple shopping bags, wallets, and so on.
Unfortunately, most insurance plans are not designed to cover the cost of stolen personal property in most circumstances. Your best bet is to avoid leaving valuable items in your car, or hiding them from view when you leave the car to prevent the appeal for theft. Additionally, make sure to always roll up the windows and lock your doors when leaving the car to prevent the likelihood of theft. If theft is an especially serious concern, you might want to consider installing a car alarm system to add extra security to your vehicle.
Although this isn’t the best news for drivers, you may still be in luck if you own a homeowners insurance policy. Most standard homeowner’s insurance policies will, in fact, cover almost all of your personal property. Your personal property would naturally include your car, boat, hotel room, and other places where you could be at risk for theft.
Although this is good news for most drivers, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons. The deductible for most homeowner’s insurance policies is relatively high, which means that you will want to take this cost into consideration with the cost you would have to pay to replace an item that was stolen out of your vehicle. If the cost for the deductible is significantly higher, it may be in your best interest to forego the homeowner’s insurance policy and practice cautionary measures on your own to prevent theft.
Smart consumers know that when you buy home insurance online, you may qualify for additional discounts and deals that you can’t get anywhere else. And though you can get homeowner insurance quotes through a variety of different sources such as insurance agents, brokers, and the insurance companies themselves, you really can’t beat the advantages that online homeowner insurance quotes offer. Not only can you oftentimes find the best rates on the Internet, you can also do so from the convenience of your own home. You don’t have to deal with fast-talking insurance brokers who use jargon you don’t understand, and you’re not put on hold for hours while you call customer service.
Where to Buy Home Insurance Online
There are two ways to go about getting homeowner insurance quotes before you buy home insurance online. First, you can go to the websites of the individual insurance companies and fill out the information form to request a quote. There are usually a number of good discounts available for online buyers that kick in when you sign up for a specific term; for example, you may get a 30% discount for 12 months if you sign up for 36 months.
Second, you can go to a quality insurance comparison website such as AgentInsure, one of the nation’s most trusted websites when it comes to getting accurate quotes from dependable companies. All you have to do is fill out your information once to get up to five quotes. You’ll also notice that many of the rates are even lower than at each insurance company’s own website! So remember, next time you need to buy home insurance, go to AgentInsure!
Though it’s every homeowner’s nightmare, when you have a good homeowners insurance policy, damage to your home becomes an inconvenience rather than a disaster. For example, when your roof has been ripped off in a severe winter storm and you know just by looking at it that this is going to take much more than a Saturday morning replacing a couple of shingles, it’s great to know that your homeowners insurance policy will cover the costs of repairs. All it takes is a phone call to your insurance agent to set everything in motion, and before you know it, you’ll have a sturdy roof over your head again… and you won’t even have to pay the bill! Of course, this isn’t the only type of damage covered: burglaries, fires, vandalism and even accidents in your home are all examples of damages that can be covered by your homeowners insurance policy.
When you buy a new car, you probably compare auto insurance quotes from a number of different insurers so you can find the best deal. And that’s exactly how you should approach purchasing a homeowners insurance policy. Request a number of quotes to review. Besides simply looking at how much your premiums will be, you should review exactly what types of damages are covered, what the limitations of the coverage are, and how quickly each insurance company handles claims. It’s also a good idea to go online and research how other consumers rate each company so you know what kind of service to expect. Select the quote that offers you quick and quality service, adequate coverage, a realistic deductible and affordable premiums.
Getting homeowner insurance quotes might be the least fun part of buying a house, but there’s no doubt that it’s also one of the most important. Without adequate insurance, you’re left financially exposed to a range of disasters, from burglaries to wind damages. Not only does insurance protect you from being faced with unexpected and sometimes even insurmountable bills for repairs, the fact that it enables you to pay for repairs protects your home from devaluation due to neglect. So it’s important to take timely action to determine how much coverage and what type of homeowner insurance you need. And that’s where comparing home insurance comes in: by reviewing quotes from a number of different insurers, you can find the right policy for you.
AgentInsure: Quick and Efficient Homeowner Insurance Quotes
In recent years, it’s become commonplace for homeowners to request insurance quotes on the Internet. But comparing home insurance quotes becomes even easier once you’ve learned about AgentInsure, one of the nation’s leading insurance comparison sites. AgentInsure makes it easy and efficient to request insurance quotes from multiple insurance companies. You’ll receive all of the quotes in your inbox so you can review each one at your leisure. There’s no hassle, there’s no obligation, and AgentInsure helps you contact a licensed insurance agent in your area if you prefer to request additional information in person rather than over the phone or by email. In a matter of minutes, you can have all the information you need to make an informed decision on how best to protect your home. And isn’t that what everybody wants?
Just like anything else you may buy, as a smart consumer you should look for the best deal you can find on insurance. All California insurance companies are not created equal. Some of them charge lower premiums than others and some of them offer better service than others. Whether you are buying California auto insurance or California homeowner insurance, it pays to take some time and compare the different insurance companies in your area.
If cost is a factor in your decision to purchase insurance, you should certainly shop around to find the California insurance company that will best suit your budget constraints. Different insurance companies assess risk somewhat differently from other companies and may charge higher or lower premiums. Some California auto insurance companies may charge much higher premiums for young drivers while other auto insurance companies might actually forgive a first accident and not raise your rates.
Your California insurance provider should also be able to provide you with fair and quick service in the event that you need to file a claim. Having an excellent, helpful customer service department when you have a question or problem is an important component for any type of insurance coverage.
Which insurance provider you select also matters because of the different ways they may treat their customers. Some companies are not very customer friendly and do not offer any kind of incentive to their best clients. Other insurance companies reward loyal customers with discounts or other incentives for the years that you have been with them.
A reduction in the amount of your deductible or a small discount may not be the biggest factor in selecting a California insurance company, it can be an important part of any insurance purchase decision.