Buying a home is an exciting but stressful venture. Beyond finding the perfect home, you also worry about how to insure it and how much coverage you need.
First, find out the value of your home. You can do this online and get a professional appraiser to help you determine the value of your home. This matters not only when considering property taxes and determining what home you can afford, but it will also help you understand your insurance premiums, as insurance premiums are also based on your home’s value.
Understanding Homeowners Insurance
Once you know the value of your home, it’s time to start shopping. But what does homeowners’ insurance cover, and how much of it do you need?
While states don’t typically require you to have homeowners’ insurance, lenders will usually ask that you have a certain amount of liability insurance on your home. Under a typical policy, homeowners’ insurance provides:
· Dwelling coverage: Dwelling coverage helps pay for damages done to the home and its attached structures (such as a garage) caused by fire, lightning, hail, theft and more.
· Liability coverage: Liability coverage offers protection when you cause personal injury or property damage to someone else.
· Personal property coverage: Personal property coverage offers either cash value or replacement value for items lost or damaged due to certain perils.
· Additional living expenses coverage: Additional expenses coverage helps pay for living expenses if you must temporarily move while your home is being fixed or rebuilt.
There are plenty of additional coverages you can purchase that cover floods, earthquakes, pet bites, detached structures and more. Consider what you need covered and how much risk each structure or item poses.
Shopping for Homeowners Insurance
Once you decide what type of insurance your home needs, it’s time to shop around. You can either shop on your own or with the help of an insurance broker.
Homeowners’ insurance prices depend on a variety of factors and not all insurance agencies are created equal. Be sure to do heavy research and get a few quotes before signing a policy.
Homeowners’ insurance premiums are calculated by your credit score, past claims, the types and amount of coverage, the age of the home and more.
What You Need to Get Homeowners Insurance
Make sure you have the address of your new home and proof of prior insurance and inspection reports. Insurance companies may require a home inspection, as well.