GetMeHomeInsurance is an online service that allows you to request FREE quotes in a competitive marketplace. When insurance companies compete for your business, they are more likely to offer you a better estimate in relation to today's home insurance market. Once you start to compare quotes, you are also more likely to find a better insurance premium. So, why not make the time to discuss all your options with an accredited insurance carrier? In just a few short minutes with GetMeHomeInsurance, you'll be able to request several quotes from the best security companies near you.
Do I Really Need Homeowners Insurance?
Yes. Homeowners insurance is the one-and-only safety net for you, your family, and your property. Although it is possible to own a home without any homeowners insurance, there are simply too many property and liability risks involved for homeowners and renters to neglect their insurance policy. Homeowners insurance will have you covered in case of any damages to property, injury, or even loss sustained due to unforeseen circumstances. Remember, insurance claims can range anywhere from a few hundred dollars, to hundreds of thousands of dollars, and if you don't have an insurance policy in place, all that money will be coming out of your own pocket.
How Much Homeowners Insurance Do I Need?
Homeowners insurance should cover 3 very important aspects of your life if you want to stay protected:
- 1. Your home: The structure of your home and other detached structures should be insured. Failing to have enough insurance to cover the cost of rebuilding your house if it’s destroyed is the biggest mistake a homeowner can make.
- 2. Your personal belongings: Your belongings should all be insured in case of any damage, loss, or theft.
- 3. Your personal liability: Remember, as a homeowner, it's your responsibility to ensure your property is safe for everyone who enters it.
An "extended replacement cost policy" is an additional option that some homeowners consider. This policy protects you when, for example, you are in the middle of a building project and there is a sudden increase in construction costs.
How Does Homeowners Insurance Work?
When you suffer any damages or loss, a policyholder can begin the claims process with their insurance carrier. A "claims adjuster" will then work alongside you to assess the extent of your claim and determine your compensation. Compensation will depend on several factors, including whether you are insured for replacement value or the actual cash value of your property, the limits set on your policy, as well as the deductible you have agreed to pay before your coverage kicks in.
What's the Difference between "Replacement Cost" and "Actual Cash Value"?
Your home itself should be insured at replacement cost. This will cover the cost to replace your property, on the same premises, with another property of similar material and quality in the event of a disaster. Actual cash value (ACV), on the other hand, will pay out the cost of a brand-new item, minus its depreciation over time. In other words, the payout will be the actual cash value of what you would pay for a similar item, like a new computer screen, in today’s market.
How Does Liability Insurance Work?
Even the most careful homeowner can end up in a situation where something unexpected happens to a visitor. Imagine someone falling down your stairs, or even your dog biting someone. If you own a property or even a piece of land, you could end up being sued if someone sustains injury or loss as a result of your property, regardless of whether it was due to negligence or oversight on your part. Liability insurance will cover medical expenses, repairs to someone else's property, or even legal defense if you end up in court.
What is a Deductible?
Under homeowners insurance, there are 3 types of deductibles, namely flat deductible, percentage deductible and a split deductible. Deductibles apply to every individual claim you make and refers to the amount that a policyholder will have to pay out-of-pocket before their insurance carrier pays out for any claim. In most cases, the policyholder will pay a deductible up to a certain level, after which their insurance will pay for anything beyond that, but only up to your coverage limit. Deductibles help to keep insurance affordable and also offers some flexibility to policyholders.
Does a Standard Homeowners Policy Cover All My Needs?
There are many insurance carriers in the United States, so individual policies could differ vastly across the board. However, roughly 80% of all homeowners insurance policies consist of a standard form that covers the homeowner's property and their liability. "Perils" such as damage or loss caused by fire, natural disasters, or even theft and vandalism, should all fall under your homeowners insurance policy. However, some policies will also cover additional living expenses if, for example, you are not able to live in your home while repairs are underway. Talk to your insurance carrier about your specific needs and be sure to clarify what is and what is not covered.
What Isn't Covered By Homeowners Insurance?
Unless specified otherwise, many homeowners policies cover damage caused by just about anything. Most catastrophes are covered, including hurricanes and tornadoes. On the other hand, earthquakes and flood damages are NOT covered by your standard policy and will require a separate policy. Your geographical location will, therefore, also have a big impact on the cost of your homeowners insurance. There are also several exclusions to keep in mind, such as damage or loss due to neglect, intentional loss, certain "high risk" dog breeds, power failures, extreme situations such as landslides or even damage as a result of war. Be sure to clarify with your insurance carrier what is covered by your homeowners insurance and what requires additional coverage.
How Much Does Homeowners Insurance Cost?
The cost of your homeowners insurance policy will depend on several factors. Most of all, the value of your home and the amount of coverage you require will be the deciding factor. Other factors that will influence the cost includes things like the crime rate in your area, the age of your home and its roof, how many claims you have filed in the past, the state you reside in, and many more. Remember, it's always a good idea to compare several estimates from a few insurance companies while discussing all your options. This will ensure you not only get a feel for the type of service you will be receiving, but comparing rates will also find you the most competitive premiums around.
Is Homeowners Insurance Tax Deductible?
Generally, homeowners insurance policies are not tax deductible. However, under certain circumstances, you may be able to receive some tax benefits. If you use your home or part thereof for working, you may be able to claim back some tax based on the square footage of the area you are currently using for business. Also, if you are a landlord and claim rent on your property, a portion of your homeowners insurance becomes tax-deductible.
Can Homeowners Insurance Be Canceled?
Yes. If you are a policyholder, you are able to cancel your homeowners insurance policy at any time, especially if you sell your home or want to change insurance companies. There may be an additional fee or penalty for canceling, but you may also receive a refund for the unused insurance premium. Keep in mind, however, that you will be at risk if your policy is canceled. Insurance carriers may also elect not to renew your policy at its expiration date, or they may even cancel after a 60 day period for a variety of reasons. Luckily, this cannot be done without prior notification. Should this ever happen, it's important to pursue another provider immediately in order to stay protected against sudden financial disaster.