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We strive to make your life easier as a homeowner. We created coverage guides, policy explanations, and tools to help you find the right coverage for your needs. Use our free online comparison tool to help you shop around and compare quotes from the best companies in your area.
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Types of home insurance policies
The most common type of policy in the United States. HO-3 covers your home and other structures on an open-peril basis.
This policy offers open peril coverage for your main home, other structures, and personal belongings. Extensive coverage is the highlight of this policy.
The coverage to get for condominium and co-op owners. It is designed to complement the HOA master coverage.
HO-7 mobile home insurance
Like standard homes, mobile and manufactured homes qualify for home insurance. Additional risks are considered due to the unique design of a mobile home.
Location is important
ABC of home insurance
Dwelling coverage A protects your main house and any structures attached to it such as an attached garage, deck, porch, and septic tank. The perils covered by coverage A depend on the type of policy you obtain with HO-3 and HO-5 offering the best protection.
Other structures coverage B protects your detached buildings and structures such as sheds, detached garages, outdoor saunas, fences, and others. Coverage B features lower limits than dwelling coverage A but typically has the same perils covered as coverage A. HO-3 and HO-5 policies offer an “all-risk” protection of other structures.
Personal property coverage C protects the contents of your home including all of your belongings and valuables. Coverage C is covered against named perils unless you have an HO-5 policy that protects your belongings against “all risks”.
Loss of use coverage D is also referred to as Additional living expenses coverage. This part of your policy covers your extra living expenses if your home has become temporarily uninhabitable.
Personal liability coverage E covers the losses that you might have caused to the other party such as bodily injury, the injured party’s lost wages, property damage, and legal expenses.
25 Tips for finding cheap home insurance
Not all plans are affordable, and not all are worth the cost. Depending on where you live, how old your home is, and other factors, you might be surprised by your options. Here are our top tips for finding affordable homeowners insurance that is a good deal in terms of value.
Purchasing a policy with your existing insurer may seem like the easiest and least expensive route. But depending on your insurance needs, another company may provide lower rates. Don’t be afraid to shop around and source quotes from a few companies before making a choice.
The easiest way to compare house insurance providers online is through our free comparison tool. Input your Zip code in the form above and find a list of the most-recommended insurers in your area. Then you can obtain an online quote from companies that fit your needs.
Although you won’t always find the best deal with your current provider, it’s possible that they offer bundle discounts that can save you money. If you already have car insurance or previously took out a renters insurance policy, you could save money by sticking with your existing provider for homeowners coverage too.
Other discounts may apply, such as a clear claims history, your status as a non-smoker, or the fact that you are married or even widowed. Some companies also give new customers a discount for switching to their services. Similarly, a good payment record with your other obligations can help bolster your qualifications when it comes to qualifying for the cheapest house insurance. Ask whether a positive payment history can help your case.
A deductible is an amount you pay before your insurance provider will take responsibility for any damages. The higher your deductible, the more you pay out of pocket if disaster strikes. However, a higher deductible also means lower monthly costs, an important consideration when calculating the overall price. If you can raise the deductible and pay less per month, it might be a better deal than continuing to pay higher premiums.
Look to the declarations section of your home insurance policy to find the deductible, which will either be an amount in dollars or a percent of the total amount of the insurance plan.
Depending on your insurer, you may be eligible for discounts on emergency preparedness. Between storm protections such as roof repairs or storm shutters and other additions, you could receive valuable discounts in exchange for planning ahead.
Functioning early warning equipment like smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are essential in every home, but did you know that installing a fire protection system can earn you discounts on home insurance? Some systems notify fire personnel remotely, but even sprinkler setups reduce the odds of a fire disaster in your home.
Another advanced protection that can reduce costs is a home security system. Along with sensors and alerts, adding deadbolts to your home’s doors, and other protections, you reduce the chances of experiencing a break-in that could cost you and your insurer money. A burglar alarm is a relatively small price to pay in terms of savings over time on insurance costs.
If you have an existing policy with your insurer, you’ll want to ask about multi-policy discounts. But whether you are sticking with your current provider or shopping around, ask about any other discounts they may offer. For example, some companies offer discounts to unions or employees of specific companies. Many insurers also give senior or military discounts.
Although referrals from friends or family are helpful and online search tools help narrow your choices, it’s worth performing background research before agreeing to the terms. Consider looking up the company you have chosen on the Better Business Bureau website. You can find out if the carrier has any pending litigation, customer complaints, or other issues.
Like any other large purchase, it helps to have good credit when applying for insurance. However, maintaining decent credit over the long term will help save you money. Check regularly to ensure that your credit score is in good standing and ask your agent if any discounts apply if it increases.
If you are about to purchase a home and want to know what to expect when it comes to costs, you can save money by doing a little research before buying. Find out whether the home you want to buy lies in a floodplain or has another questionable history. Homes that have weathered a few heavy storms may incur more considerable insurance costs, whether in the form of higher premiums or higher deductibles, if not both. A property that is in an area with a high crime rate may also cost more to insure.
If you already own your home and it’s in a high crime rate area or a floodplain, consider whether you can use other money-saving tips to reduce costs elsewhere in your policy.
Like homes in floodplains, your home may have unique qualities or vulnerabilities that require additional insurance. For example, a storm could cause flooding in your home due to the property layout and features. Even if you don’t live in a flood zone, your house could sustain water damage.
Before you install an in-ground pool or order a hot tub, consider the impact those features will have on your insurance costs. Pools are a liability for homeowners because of the drowning risk they pose to not only the inhabitants of the home, but also visitors. The higher the risk, the higher the premium for your insurance plan.
Depending on your home’s location and local regulations, you may have to purchase additional insurance beyond a standard homeowners policy. Flood insurance, for example, is mandatory in many areas that experience flooding. It’s helpful to know your home’s flood risk before buying, as flood policy add-ons may raise your costs significantly.
Because the roof is your home’s primary protection against water damage, its condition affects your overall insurance costs. Consider performing repairs on the roof or replacing it if possible. The up-front cost may be high, but the long-term savings on your insurance and the protection a new roof gives your home are worth it.
Although pools and hot tubs are common risk factors, other property features can cause your insurance rates to rise. For example, old buildings on your property, although uninhabited, create additional hazards. Plan to remove any old storage sheds, garages, or outbuildings before signing up for your plan.
Having a homeowners policy is reassuring when something goes wrong in your house. However, you should think carefully before submitting a claim. Insurers may refuse to pay if they see multiple similar claims from a client, or if they suspect that any claim is fraudulent. This can cause problems later if a larger issue comes up that you can’t pay for on your own.
Automatic payments are a convenient way to guarantee you never miss a billing cycle, but many companies also give discounts if you pay automatically. Discount amounts vary, but you could save 5% or more each month. Signing up for your company’s autopay feature is one of the easiest ways to get the most low-cost homeowners insurance possible.
In some cases, government programs for properties in high-flood risk or other potentially dangerous areas can help bring down the cost of your premium. However, the opposite can also prove true. Carefully compare the terms of both types of plans before you commit.
Although you sign a contract for insurance, just like any other service, it pays to revisit the terms occasionally. Whether you start a new job, make upgrades to your property, or bumped your credit score up a few points, you may be leaving money on the table by keeping your policy as-is.
Because the cost of your plan depends on what it would cost to rebuild your home after a disaster, you may not necessarily use the price tag amount to determine coverage needs. The rebuild costs can also vary depending on the market value of your home, so this is worth checking out before you renew your policy.
If you are considering adopting a pet, check whether your existing or prospective insurance carrier has limitations on pet species or breeds. Many carriers blacklist particular breeds of dogs, especially those with a reputation for being vicious. However, some carriers also list dogs that most pet owners do not consider risk. Check ahead and put off adopting a pet until you can confirm it won’t affect your rates or insurability.
Although homeowners policies require itemization of many big-ticket items, insuring those items separately can save you money. If you have valuables such as jewelry or expensive electronics in your home, taking out another type of insurance on those items can reduce your overall insurance costs.
If you’re purchasing a new home, it can be difficult to wade through all the paperwork, including insurance-related information. However, it’s important to read through your plan and understand your responsibilities. For example, many new homeowners think that homeowners insurance covers home systems, like heating and air or other major appliances. The higher price of a plan isn’t so palatable when you realize it doesn’t cover the interior or appliances of your home.
A homeowner’s worst nightmare is finding out that an insurance policy won’t reimburse them for the loss of their home due to the property owner’s negligence. Unfortunately, if you don’t perform regular maintenance on your home, an insurance company can refuse to pay out and accuse you of neglect. Conditions like mold, termites, leaking or broken pipes, or sewer disasters are mostly preventable, so odds are, your insurer won’t cover them.
If you already own your home outright, your insurance costs will likely be lower than if you are making payments. Confirm that your company or agent knows that your home is paid off to see if you qualify for a lower rate. If not, consider shopping around to see if another insurance company will give you a discount for outright home ownership.
Your mortgage lender will most likely require you to purchase a home insurance policy though you can legally own a home without one.
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