When you buy a home, you’re required to get home insurance along with it. If something were to happen to your home, the insurance would help you get your life back together. It’s an important thing, but a lot of homeowners don’t really give it a lot of thought beyond signing up. This can be a big mistake.
We’ve compiled a list of some of the things you should know about insurance for your new home.
It’s Part of Your Monthly Mortgage Payment
In most cases, your mortgage lender will take care of the annual premium that you pay. You’ll pay the full amount your first year when you close on the mortgage, but each month after that, 1/12 of the annual payment goes to your lender. After a year, they pay the full amount for you. It usually works out evenly unless you make changes to your policy mid-year.
You Can Compare Offers
You are allowed to purchase your home insurance from any company you want. Pay close attention to what it covers and how much your deductible is. The deductible is how much you have to pay out-of-pocket if you file a claim. It usually ranges from $100 to $1,000, and the higher the deductible, the lower the annual premium.
Comparing offers should not strictly be about price, though. Make sure you look for reviews of the insurance company. While you probably won’t have to file a claim any time soon, you want to feel confident that the insurance will cover repairs in a timely manner when you do need to use it.
It Usually Covers a Variety of Things
In general, the home insurance policy should provide enough coverage to replace your home, should everything be lost in something like a fire. It will include the materials to build a home substantially similar to the one you own, and it will also allow you to replace all of the furniture and your other belongings that were lost.
Additionally, your policy should cover a few things beyond the actual home and belongings. For instance, if someone were to break a bone on your property, that person (or more usually, their insurance) could sue you to cover the cost of medical treatment. Your insurance agent will be able to fill you in on all the details.
But May Not Cover All Belongings
One important thing to note is that a general insurance policy may not cover all of your belongings. If you have an extensive fine art collection or a lot of expensive jewellery, those things may not be covered by the insurance policy. Additionally, policies don’t always cover some of the stylistic details that you’re likely to find in older homes, like stained glass windows or wide-plank hardwood floors. However, you may be able to purchase separate riders to cover these types of things. It will cost you more, but your belongings will be covered in case of damages.
You Need to Look at the Details
It’s important to get into some of the details about what the insurance company will cover and when they’ll cover it. For instance, the company might offer coverage to replace your roof after it was damaged during a storm, but if the roof was already 10 years old, the company may not pay the full amount of the replacement because they’re prorating for the years that you’ve already had the roof.
Additionally, insurance doesn’t always cover damage from specific natural disasters like earthquakes or tornadoes, if these things frequently occur in the area. Fortunately, we don’t get too many natural disasters in Winnipeg, so you probably don’t have to worry much about coverage.
You Have to Perform Maintenance
Your insurance policy will cover repairs or replacements as long as the damage was something that was outside of your control. If the damage was in some part caused by your neglect, they may refuse to pay. This means you should always be careful about taking care of the maintenance on any appliances in your home.
You Should Ask About Discounts
You don’t necessarily have to pay full price for insurance. Companies may offer you discounts for being a college graduate, for belonging to a certain club, or when you bundle your home insurance with your auto insurance. Before choosing an insurance company, be sure to ask if you qualify for any discounts.
Your home insurance keeps you protected, and it’s important to find a good insurance company. Take the time to do your research on choosing the best company for your family.