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Home Owners Insurance

If you have any questions or would like more information about home owners insurance please Contact Us. If you are planning on buying your next dream home visit our Home Buying page or if you are planning to sell your home visit our Home Selling page.

When buying a home, one word you will hear often is "insurance." As a homeowner you are concerned about protecting your house, your personal belongings and your personal liability. It is important that the coverage you choose provide the comprehensive protection that you need. Homeowner's insurance protects you and your house against losses from fire, theft, liability, vandalism, water damage, wind damage, tornadoes and loss of use. Earthquake and flood insurance are not included but can be purchased separately.

Types

There are three types of homeowner's policies to choose from. A clear understanding of the coverage each type offers will help you select the right policy for your needs. Each type carries a deductible amount you select.

  • A standard policy requires coverage for at least 80% of the value of your home, excluding land and the foundation. It will usually insure your personal property at actual cash value.

  • A broad-from policy is more inclusive than the standard policy and covers additional named perils such as glass breakage, smoke damage, etc.

  • An all-risk policy covers even more than do the standard and broad-form policies. An example of a covered risk might be damage caused to your roof from ice build-up in the gutters.

Some of these policies offer optional guaranteed replacement cost coverage on your home and its contents. Replacement cost coverage will pay to rebuild your home and replace its contents with no depreciation coming into play. It is important to understand that the replacement value of your home is based on your insurance company's estimate of the cost to rebuild your home on your property. It is not based on the purchase or appraised value of the home. Most policies have a built-in annual increase of replacement cost coverage.

Reducing Premiums

When purchasing homeowner's insurance, there are ways of lowering your premium. Most insurance companies offer discounts for smoke alarms, fire extinguishers, dead bolt locks, and whole-house alarm systems. If your home is fairly new, or if you elect to insure your automobiles with the same company, you are likely to receive a discount on your premium. Another way of lowering your premium is to select as high a deductible as you can afford. Raising your deductible reduces your premium. Insurance is the type of service you buy hoping that you will never have to use it. Discuss with your REALTOR® your unique needs and concerns when you purchase the insurance and whenever your needs change. The right insurance can give you a sense of security in knowing that you are adequately protected.

Title Insurance

Generally, there are two forms of title insurance. Lender's title insurance, required by most lending institutions, is normally written in the amount of the mortgage and protects the lending institution from losses resulting from title defects. Because lender's insurance expires when the mortgage is repaid, you may benefit from the second form of title insurance known as an owner's title policy. It usually is written for the amount of the purchase price of the home. This protection starts the day of the closing and lasts as long as you or your heirs retain an interest in the property. Unlike other insurance premiums, your title insurance premium is paid only once, at the closing. By purchasing owner's and lender's protection simultaneously, substantial savings in title insurance premiums can be realized. After all fees have been paid and documents signed and notarized at the closing, you will receive a copy of each and, most importantly, title to your house.

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