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Home InsuranceLet’s face it, the term “Home Owners Insurance” is an extremely broad topic, and the title itself is very misleading. Home Owners Insurance is not just for the owners of a home, as the term would suggest. When the policy is broken down you will discover that there are several types of coverage under the umbrella of a home insurance policy that are applicable to many different living situations. There’s the Dwelling portion, the Liability Portion, Personal Property portion, and an Other Structures portion just to name a few. As a matter of fact the State of Florida teaches new agents how home owners policies work by breaking the insurance policy down into several sections so that the coverage does not start to confuse the agent.

Rather than bore you with all the details about those parts of the policy we will simply tell you this, the Home Owners Insurance area of study is the largest and most complex portion in the General Lines State Manual. That said, unlike other lines of insurance, you will find that in order to determine which home insurance policy is the right one, it will not be as easy as finding a quote engine on the web and sending in a few pieces of information. Even a smaller renters insurance policy can be more complex than most auto insurance policies. If you do not have a true professional to assist you in finding the right coverage, any living situation can become a huge nightmare without the correct insurance. But don’t stress! Our team of experts deal with all different types of policies and scenarios, and they can help you find what you need.

Why do you need Home Owners Insurance?

When we ask most people why they need a home owners insurance policy they simply answer, “to protect my place when a pipe burst or a hurricane comes”. But, how accurate is that? Owning a home is a fantastic achievement, and yes, we would recommend that you “protect your place” with a complete home owners insurance policy. But what about people who prefer to rent rather than own? More complex still, what about people who decide that they would like to have a roommate? Or, consider students in college living at the school dormitory. All of these scenarios present very different situations when it comes to home owners insurance and making sure you have the correct coverage. For example, renters and college dorm residents do not need to worry about the structures they live in, so which part of the Home Owners policy needs to be left out? What makes up a Renters insurance policy? Right about now if you are not already asking yourself, “Am I sure have right type of insurance policy and coverage on everything I need to have protected?” you should be.

When shopping for home owners insurance, there are four key factors to consider.

  • Your personal goals – If we are not getting you a quote for what you need your insurance loses it’s value.
  • Features and benefits of your policy – This will depend on the type of policy you select. We have everything from basic Home Owners insurance policies, to Renters Policies, as well as fully insured and customized Home Owners policies. Fully customized policies take into account specialty items that you own, and may want to insure.
  • Premiums – Of course premiums always play an important role in selecting an insurance plan. We will work with you to find a policy that meets your needs and fits your budget.
  • Financial strength of an insurance company – Home owners insurance should keep you safe for years. Therefore, it is beneficial to use an insurance company with a strong foundation and a bright future. A company’s reinsurance rates are a good indicator of their financial stability. We will help you evaluate the carriers and discuss their strength with you.

The typical, and not so typical, types of “Home Owners Insurance” Coverage.

  • Comprehensive insurance covers claims for damage from fire, smoke, storms, vandalism, theft and other hazards.
  • Temporary living expense policies provide coverage if your home is uninhabitable following another covered claim (eg. fire damage that is covered under comprehensive insurance).
  • Additional coverage for valuable personal property is optional and it provides coverage for the contents of your home (eg. jewelry, musical instruments, art work, furniture, major appliances, and clothing).
  • Replacement cost coverage replaces your lost personal belongings with brand-new equivalents of the same quality. This is different from actual cost coverage. Actual cost coverage deducts depreciation. Replacement cost coverage does not and is more beneficial.
  • Optional coverages are available so that you can tailor coverage to suit your needs and lifestyle.
  • Other types of home owners insurance that may interest you are Mobile Home Insurance Policies, Renters Insurance, Landlord’s Rental Dwelling Insurance,  and Condominium Insurance (also known as an HO6 policy).

How to qualify for discounts on your premiums

Many insurance companies will reduce monthly premiums for home owners who contribute to the safety of their home. Frequently, these discounts are based on:

  • If your home has a fire escape let your insurance company know. You may qualify for a discount.
  • Many people store flammable liquids in their garages. If these liquids catch on fire, a detached garage reduces the risk of the fire spreading to the main part of the house.
  • Renovate your home and make sure the electrical and structural components meet building codes.
  • Many insurance companies offer discounts for home owners who have smoke/ heat/ carbon monoxide detectors, sprinklers, security systems, dead bolts and other protective measures. These protective alert systems can save you up to 20%.
  • Location, location, location. You have heard it a million times, although location can make an impact on your insurance rates.

Tips to lower your premiums

  • Plan ahead for construction
  • Seek multiple discounts
  • Raise your deductible
  • Pay off your mortgage