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The Guide to Smart Homeowner’s Insurance Shopping

December 6, 2012 | Blog

There are many important purchases in life, but few are as critical to the long term financial well-being of an individual or family as insurance. There are many forms of insurance that individuals should consider, and its important for each person to carefully consider their insurance needs.

Homeowners’ Insurance

The purpose of a homeowner’s insurance policy, of course, is to protect the property of the homeowner. The policy also provides liability coverage against damages that may occur to people or property while in the premises. Homeowner’s insurance is intended to pay for damages which occur both to your home and its contents, as well as to protect you from financial liability in the event someone is injured on your property.

Even though homeowner’s insurance is standardized in the USA, there are many different policies available. Most homeowner’s insurance policies cover damage caused by a number of factors, like lightning strikes, fires, falling objects, and smoke. In addition, most homeowner’s policies cover stolen property. Its important for those in the market for such a policy to determine exactly what is excluded from coverage. Standard exclusions includes flood and earthquake damage, but each policy may have additional exclusions as well.

Insurance companies use two different methods to calculate the payout in the event of a catastrophe, which renders the home unlivable. The first is the actual cash value and the other is replacement coverage. The actual cash value provides the actual cost to replace the damaged or destroyed property, minus the depreciation of the item’s value over time.

Replacement coverage replaces what was destroyed with an item of the same type and quality, minus depreciation. Its important to consider this important distinction when shopping for a new policy, and to compare these accordingly.

Flood Insurance

There has been a great deal of talk in the news recently about the need for flood insurance, and every year many homeowners are shocked to find that their homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover damage done by water. Its important for every homeowner living in a designated flood plain to research the need for flood insurance, and to carefully determine just what that is, and what it isn’t.

The only guaranteed form of flood insurance is offered by the Federal Flood Insurance Program, administered by the Federal Government. This insurance can be purchased through an insurance company or your agent.

Renter’s Insurance

While the vast majority of homeowners have some form of homeowner’s insurance policy in place, the same isn’t true of those who rent their home or apartment. Recent statistics have revealed that over half of those who rent have no renter’s insurance at all, and those renters may well be flirting with financial ruin by not carrying this important insurance coverage.

Renter’s insurance is designed to provide protection from loss in the event of fire, theft, or other disaster. Without this important coverage, renters would have to replace the contents of their apartments or rented homes on their own, and out of their own pockets, if anything happens to them.

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