There are so many things that go into buying a new home. First, you have to find that home, make sure it is in the right neighborhood, in your desired location and covers most if not all of your wants and needs. Second comes all the money stuff, securing a loan, putting money down, scheduling an inspection and making sure everyone gets paid for the work they have done. The one thing that may slip your mind when you are busy making plans for your new house is getting home insurance. Many people forgot how important it is to have home insurance but think about it, home purchases are one of the biggest if not the biggest investment you will ever purchase in your life, wouldn’t you want to make sure if something happened you would be insured for that giant investment?
I recently sat down with a man who knows a thing or two about home insurance, Mr. Neil Shelton of Country Financial, to discuss why it is important to have a good home insurance policy and what to make sure you have or add on your policy. After talking with him there were a few things I realized in regards to what a typical policy covers:
· Home – Insurance covers the physical structure of your home along with any other structures attached to it such as a garage.
· Other Structures – This covers everything now attached to your home such as a pool house, guesthouse, detached garage or even a greenhouse or tool shed.
· Personal Property – Think of this as covering everything inside your home that belongs to you such as any furniture, appliances and ladies, your clothes and shoes would fall under here too.
· Loss of Use – Let’s say a covered hazard damages your home and you have to stay at a hotel for a while or rent an apartment while the damages get fixed, this part of your insurance helps to pay for the costs of the rental and other living expenses.
We also discussed things homeowner’s insurance does not cover and many of them may surprise you as they did me so I thought I would share for these exclusions to watch out for:
· Earth Movement – To everyone who lives in an area where earthquakes are present this is something you need to keep in mind. Typical insurance does not cover damage from things such as an earthquake or a landslide.
· Water Damage – This is a tricky one but if you have any damage to your house due to a back up in your sewers or drains or water seeping into the walls from weather, you won’t be covered. These are things you can get written into the policy though and will be cheaper to add then not to have at all if anything happens!
· Flood Damage – If you live in a flood area, you are automatically up for flood insurance, so make sure to check that out when you move into your new home.
· Mold Damage – There are a lot of claims of personal property loss due to mold and that is why many insurance companies keep it off so double-check that when you are buying your insurance.
. Loss Assessment Coverage-Loss assessment coverage is protection condo owners can use on claims involving the building or its common areas. In most condo communities, your homeowners association (HOA) has its own insurance that covers incidents outside of your personal unit. However, these claims sometimes exceed the HOA master policy limits. If that's the case, you and your fellow condo dwellers might be asked to step in and make up the difference. Condo loss assessment coverage can help you avoid paying out of pocket when a common area claim requires your individual assistance.
When you do in to purchase your homeowner’s insurance, make sure to sit down with an agent to have them go over the details of your policy and be able to add whatever policy points are necessary. It is important to have a good insurance policy on your home to make sure if anything happens you and your family will be covered. If you have any questions in regards to policies or where to look, feel free to contact me and I would be happy to refer you to a few good agencies I know of and have worked with.