Homeowners insurance is one of those responsibilities that come with home ownership. Anyone who is carrying a mortgage on a home must have homeowners insurance. However, the benefits of insurance not only benefit the bank should something seriously go wrong, but they also protect homeowners personal property. If you’re just getting acquainted with home ownership or have just moved to Texas, these helpful tips provide a good introduction to homeowners insurance.
Documenting Personal Property
One of the first things that an insurance agent will discuss with you is your personal property. Personal property insurance covers your possessions such as expensive jewelry, furniture, fine art, appliances, clothing, TV’s, stereos, cameras, tools, computers, antiques, collectibles and musical instruments.
Unfortunately, some people use random figures for personal property coverage on homeowners insurance and may not know where their receipts are located. In essence, if their personal belongings were destroyed in a fire for example, they really have no concrete evidence as to what they owned, the condition of the items or what they were worth.
Consequently, the best thing you can do for yourself and your homeowners insurance policy is to make documented records of your valuable possessions.
Video tape all your possessions in your home, or take photos if videotaping isn’t an option. Either one of these options should prove you own the items, and the condition of them for homeowners insurance documentation.
Next, you should keep a written list of each item stating the name of the item, manufacturer, location in the home and a receipt of the purchase. Whenever possible, include model and serial numbers.
Keep this documentation for homeowners insurance in a safe place like a relative’s house or in a safety deposit box where it won’t be destroyed if your lodging is damaged by fire, flooding or a hurricane.
It’s also a good idea to check with your insurance agent to discuss the preferred methods for documenting proof of ownership on belongings.
Texas Homeowners Insurance
House insurance is all about protecting your treasured belongings and of course the structure of the home. In many states, a general insurance policy takes care of most things affecting your home.
However, Texas is a little different. Homeowners are faced with a variety of naturally occurring events like hurricanes in the fall and tornados in the spring, which is important when buying homeowners insurance.
Average policies cover some wind damage, however, damage resulting from tornados or hurricanes could fall into another category.
For instance, flooding damage caused by a hurricane is not covered under standard insurance policies. When setting up new coverage for your home or re-evaluating coverage, you should always discuss the details of your policy and whether you need to get a separate policy for damage resulting from tornados or hurricanes.
Saving on Homeowners Insurance
When purchasing home insurance, it’s a wise idea to listen to your insurance agent that has the experience and expertise to guide you when selecting coverage. After all, they’re in the business, and they understand the legal terms that may be confusing to the average homeowner.
However, there are still several decisions that you should make, and there are many ways that you can save money on homeowners insurance. Remember each insurance policy should be tailored to each individual homeowner and home because every situation is just a bit different.
The size of a home greatly affects your costs for homeowners insurance. Obviously, larger homes run more to insure than smaller homes because of the size of the house and rebuilding costs.
Location is Key
The location of your new home really plays an important part in your premium costs for homeowners insurance. For instance, if you’re living relatively close to the neighborhood fire station, the insurance company feels more secure and is more likely to include a nice discount in your policy.
In addition, purchasing a home in the better area of town could reduce homeowners insurance rates because the chance of vandalism may be reduced.
Avoid buying in designated flood zones that can influence the need for a special rider and increased costs.
Save Big with Multiple Policies
Many people are surprised to learn that if you insure you home, boat or automobile with the same company, you’re probably qualified to receive a multi-policy discount. This can add up to a nice savings of about 10 percent, which may apply to each type of policy that you get.
Homeowners Insurance Rates are Lower on New Homes
Although, insurance companies are in business to cover damages to your dwelling when they occur, they prefer to avoid repairs. However, when you buy a newer home, it’s likely that the air conditioning, heating, plumbing and electrical will be in tip-top shape and not need repairs.
Therefore, homeowners that purchase new homes reap the benefits from insurance companies with lower rates on homeowners insurance. You might shave off as much as 8 to 15 percent.
Double Check Personal Property Coverage
Frequently, it pays off to examine your personal property coverage carefully on homeowners insurance. Your agent may suggest a coverage limit that fits typical homeowners. However, in your situation, the limits may be high if you don’t have many possessions. It’s certainly worth asking about.
Deductibles Make a Difference
If dealing with homeowners insurance is a new concept for you, you’ll need to learn about deductibles. This is the dollar amount you must pay out of your wallet for damage repairs, before your insurance coverage picks up the remaining balance.
Everyone is responsible for paying their monthly, quarterly or yearly premium for homeowners insurance. However, if you were to increase your deductible amount on the policy, your premium payment drops. In the end, you’ll save money on premium payments if you never have to make a claim. The downside is if you do have to make a claim, it costs you more because the deductible applied to the claim is higher.
Don’t feel awkward when you don’t understand everything in your homeowners insurance policy, or you need to talk about flooding coverage in Texas. Your agent is ready to help you with coverage and answer questions.