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What You Need to Know About Insurance When Buying a New Home

After months of looking for the perfect house and then finally being able to call it home, there are some things that need to be considered in order to protect your new residence from potential damage. In the case of hail, high winds, water, theft and fire, homeowner insurance is a must-have to protect your home from the what if’s in life.

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As far-fetched as it may sound, if a car hits your home in a freak accident, or if your heating system crashes in the midst of a frigid winter, you’d want to make sure these unexpected events are covered by your home insurance, so replacing the damaged items are not done out-of-pocket and costing you a fortune in repairs.

Homeowners insurance is not required by law but it will be a lifesaver if your dream home becomes the star in the local news due to less than happy circumstances.

Here’s what you need to know about homeowner insurance:

  • Homeowner insurance includes four different types of basic coverage: structure, possessions, living expense and liability. These are the fundamental factors that all home insurances should include. If your home catches on fire, having structure coverage will aid in repairs to the physical home and even insure structures like sheds and fences, while the material goods (furniture, technology, clothing, etc.) in your home can be replaced under the possessions claim. If your home has smoke damage and is deemed unlivable, additional living expense can help pay for temporary housing until you get back on your feet. While liability coverage is not something you think of everyday, it should not be overlooked in case someone has an accident on your property. Liability coverage helps to protect you against lawsuits and medical expenses if someone should get injured at your home.
  • Not everything is covered under home insurance. Some natural disasters are not included in the typical home insurance coverage. Events like sink holes, mud slides, earthquakes and flooding due to storms need special additional insurance. The easiest way to see if flood insurance would be needed is to search your new home in the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Flood Map Service database. Here you can see if your new home is built in a flood plain, or in an area that has a history of being flooded. If your home is not in an ‘at risk’ zone, it still may be a good idea to have flood insurance in case of bad storms.
  • There is a major difference between actual cash value and replacement value coverage. Similar to depreciation of a car, over time items in your home, such as technology, lose value. For example, if a burglar decides to swipe the ancient iPhone that was sitting on your kitchen counter, there are options included in your homeowners insurance that would allow you to purchase a brand new iPhone as the replacement value versus given cash for the cost of how much the iPhone would have been worth in today’s market.

Home insurance can and should be customized to fit your needs and lifestyle. For more information and to get the most out of your insurance coverage, contact our dedicated team at Ross Insurance Agency.