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The Basics Of Homeowner's / Property Insurance


Insurance On Your Property Will Cover You From Damages to and From the Following:

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    The actual Structure or Dwelling and all of its attached or detached units. Be certain to check if the policy in question will also cover your garden and tool sheds or an amenity such as a tennis court or swimming pool.

  • Most Of Your Personal Property Will Be Covered; this should include the furniture, appliances, and other belongings that you have in your home such as clothing, books, audio/visual equipment, etc. These basic policies insure these items from most damage and if stolen. However, insurance coverage and premiums are very specific and you must go over and list every item that you have that may be in question. Then, when you apply for your coverage the insurance agent can accurately tell you what will be covered in the basic policy and what needs to be included in a rider to that policy. Precious jewelry, art, musical instruments and antiques all fall into this category of items that need special consideration and may also need to be appraised before establishing the premium for them.

  • If you own a video camera or still camera it is always a good idea to take pictures of your home and property, inside and out, and keep them in a safe place (safe deposit box) for future use if you do have to make a claim. Be sure that the pictures are dated and labeled. If this can be done so that the information is actually in the images rather then written on them you will have an even better tool for your use and protection in the event of an accident or fire. There are also services available just for this sort of documentation. (Keep this catalog of pictures up-to-date if anything changes afrer the policy is written.)

  • Liability Coverage Is Also of the Utmost Importance. In this day and age of liability judgments, and the ever increasing amounts awarded by judges for claims, you will need to be certain that you are protected in case of an accident that occurs on your property. You should also be covered for any event such as a tree from your property falling onto your neighbor's property and resulting in a claim for restitution of damages or personal injury.

  • Never knowing what the future holds is what insurance coverage is all about. The possibility of something happening.

  • Any Expenses That May Be Incurred If Your Home Is Damaged, and You Need to Reside Somewhere Else While It Is Being Repaired, Should Be Covered as Well. These types of expenses can accumulate quickly and become a further burden to you if you are not insured for that eventuality.

How Premium Rates are Established is a Good Thing to Know

  • Your Neighborhood. What adverse events have occurred in your neighborhood in the past will have a dramatic affect on your premium. Flooding, burglaries or fires; is the crime rate high, these will all cause your rate to be higher.

  • Have You Had Claims in the Past? If you are renewing a policy and you have had some substantial claims in the past this will most probably result in a higher premium cost for you this time around, you may even be denied.

  • Protect the Value of Your Home From Inflation.

  • Over Time It Is More Than Likely That Your Home Will Devaluate Due to Depreciation. If there is an accident or occurrence that will partially, or completely, require repair or replacement of the home the mortgage lender is going to most certainly want to know that you can take care of this eventuality at the current or higher costs of the day.

  • What is the Deductible? Similar to car insurance, you can lower your premium rates by agreeing to pay a higher amount yourself towards any claim, before the insurer is required to participate along with you.

  • Loss Prevention. Any preventative measure taken before hand will also help you establish a better rate. Alarm systems, of any kind, are always good to have for your own protection as well as to help lower your premiums. Check to see if a discount is available for a non-smoking family?


Insurance Policies Contain a Lot of Legal Jargon. If you do not fully understand the text of your policy make certain that the agent explains it all to you in terms you will understand. Make a list of questions when you first go over the policy yourself so that you will not forget a single thing that is confusing or in doubt. Only one missing item or aspect of coverage can mean the difference between your policy being effective enough for you and your having to outlay thousands of dollars in the event of a tragedy. Be certain that your property not only has the standard coverages, but that you are also covered within the rider for anything that may be beyond the scope of the basic policy; flooding and tornado coverage, if needed, and certain types of precious or valuable personal items.

Property & Casualty Insurance or P&C is similar to auto insurance but dissimilar from health and life policies. Not all insurers carry both, do your due diligence on this as well.

The umbrella organization, National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), regulates homeowner's insurance in your state and they undoubtedly have a web site that you can refer to throughout and after this process.

You will be paying a lot of money for your insurance policy and it is meant to protect you in the future. Only you can perform the proper due diligence and be certain that you are getting exactly what you are paying for and that you, your property and most especially your loved ones are fully covered in the event of an accident. Ask Questions, demand answers and clarity. Seek counseling, if you need to, and read the fine print.

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