For many of us our home is our most valuable possession. The time to think about the unthinkable disaster is before it happens to you. If your home were damaged or destroyed, insurance can help you repair or rebuild your home and replace damaged possessions.
The main purpose of insurance is to protect you against losses you cannot afford. Few people have the financial resources to rebuild their homes. In addition to protecting your home and possessions, homeowners insurance also provides liability coverage to protect you from financial ruin if someone is injured on your property and sues for damages.
A homeowners insurance policy consists of coverage for your dwelling and your personal property. It also includes liability insurance which pays for injuries to other people or damages to their property accidentally caused by you, your family or your pets. You also can buy several types of additional insurance for property that is not listed in your homeowner’s policy or for perils not covered? such as flood ? for which you need a separate policy. You do this by either buying a separate policy or by adding an endorsement or rider to your policy.
Tips for Keeping Your Rates Low
There are some simple steps you can take to reduce your homeowner’s premiums.
- Raise Your Deductible – A deductible is an amount you pay before the insurance starts to pay for your loss. Since the purpose of insurance is to pay for the losses you cannot afford, raise your deductible to a limit that you could handle in case of a loss.
- New Home – If your home is less than 10 years old, you may be eligible for a new home discount.
- Make Your Home Safer – You may be eligible for a discount if you have a burglar and fire alarms systems and/or sprinkler systems. Monitored systems will earn a bigger discount than unmonitored systems.
- Construction Material – When you buy a home, look for fire-resistant construction, such as brick, masonry or rock. You may pay a lower premium for hail-resistant roofs, such as those made of concrete tile, while wood roofs may bring a surcharge. Check the location of the nearest fire department, and avoid buying in flood-prone areas.
- Non-Smoker Discounts
Floods can happen anytime or anywhere. Even in the same place twice. Floods are the leading natural cause of property damage. Four times more homes are destroyed by flood than by fire, causing over $2 billion in property damage every year.
You don’t have to live by water to be at risk. Approximately 30% of all flood claims occur in low to moderate risk areas. Homeowner insurance does not cover flood damage, but Federal Flood Insurance does. Flood insurance also covers mudflow, dirt, and debris resulting from moving water.
Homeowners with mortgaged property in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) are now required by federal law to obtain flood insurance. Lenders must comply by requiring flood insurance on the outstanding mortgage balance for the life of the loan.
Fortunately, Flood Insurance is affordable, though, flood damage is not. The average loss of property and contents from the 1993 Midwest flood was more than $25,000. Compare this to the average annual flood premium of about $300 per year.
Your coverage is based on your home’s value, minus your land value. Flood Insurance up to $250,000 is available for residential buildings and also the option of up to $100,000 for contents. Since flood policies are backed by the US government, all valid claims are 100% guaranteed.
There is a 30 day waiting period for flood insurance, so the best way to protect your home is to act now before the flood comes! Remember, just because you experience a flood disaster, that doesn’t mean you have to experience financial ruin.
If you should have any questions regarding Flood Insurance, or we can assist you with a quote, please feel free to contact us.