By Mark Richards from Fairway Independent Mortgage in Ridgewood, NJ.
Safeguarding your home is critical, as it is likely one of your largest investments. Homeowners insurance protects your home, its contents, and other assets in the event of fire, theft, accidents, or other disasters.
A standard homeowners insurance policy will provide coverage for costs related to:
- Damage to the interior and exterior of your home
- Loss or damage to personal belongings
- Personal liability for damage or injuries caused by you or your family
- Hotel or house rental while your home is being repaired
An important factor to consider when selecting a homeowners policy is how much coverage you need. Your policy should cover enough to rebuild your home if it were to be destroyed completely. It may be a good idea to ask a homebuilder to walk through your home and estimate what it would cost to rebuild. You can use that figure as the basis for how much replacement coverage you would need on your home. In addition, if you have exceptionally valuable items such as art pieces or family heirlooms, you likely need to purchase additional coverage. Walk room by room and calculate how much it would cost to replace the contents of your home. Be sure to include furniture, televisions and electronics, clothing, jewelry, shoes, and other items.
Consider the location of your home. Most standard policies will cover damage to your home as a result of fire or fallen trees, but will likely not cover damage from earthquakes or floods. Homeowners living in an officially recognized high-risk area for floods are required by law to have flood insurance. To find out if your home is a flood risk, click here. Homeowners living in areas extremely susceptible to earthquakes are also often required to have extra coverage.
When deciding which insurance policy to choose, consider the deductible. Like all other types of insurance, you should opt for the highest deductible you can afford, as this will cause your insurance premium to be lower. There are also many factors that you may not be aware of that can change the cost or coverage, such as owning a trampoline or having certain breeds of dogs. Additionally, you may save on your policy if you have an alarm system.
I would be happy to refer you to someone who can give you fantastic advice on homeowners insurance. Call me today to set up an appointment!