What You Need to Know About Homeowner’s Insurance
Whether you have recently bought a house, are in the process of buying a home or are getting ready to own one, it pays to know what can affect the cost of your homeowner’s insurance and what special types of coverage you may need to include in your policy. With your homeowner’s insurance plan, you can help cover the cost of unexpected damages, but if you don’t have the right policy for your property, you could shortchange yourself. Listed below are some key things to consider when purchasing a new homeowner’s insurance policy.
Just as in residential real estate, when it comes to insurance plans, location can make a big difference. This is true in particular to the cost you may have for your policy. While location amenities such as top-rated schools and ease-of-access to public transit can help or hinder a home’s market value, the approach to location for an insurance policy is a bit different. Insurance companies look at the proximity of a property in regards to vital services such as a nearby fire station. On the flip side, types of topography can affect how much you have to pay. If you live near the ocean, for example, you are more likely to pay a higher premium due to the higher risk from weather phenomenon that are more common along our coastlines.
In looking at natural phenomenon and how these events can affect your home, if you don’t have flood or earthquake insurance in addition to your homeowner’s policy, it could be beneficial to look into these additional types of coverage. Standard home insurance policies do not typically cover ‘Natural Acts of God’. Two specific types of coverage worth looking into are flood and earthquake insurance. Almost 90% of all natural disasters in the country include flooding of some sort. Even if you are not in a high risk area, you could experience flood damage. You may not think of Florida as an earthquake prone state, but with an average 285 earthquakes a year, damage from a quake is not unheard of. For those in lower-risk areas for flood or earthquake, these policies can also be quite affordable, giving you better peace of mind with a low expenditure.
Pools and Florida go hand-in-hand. But if you do have a pool, be prepared to pay more for your homeowner’s insurance. A higher liability policy is a good idea for anyone with a pool. This will help cover you in case your friend or neighbor takes a spill on slippery steps for example. You can sometimes get a better cost for insuring your pool liability if you include safety features such as a secure fence around your pool. Sometimes an umbrella policy is the way to go. This type of coverage can give you extra peace of mind as they provide greater coverage compared to a standard homeowner’s insurance policy.
Another thing that can add to your insurance costs is the history of the property, including before you owned it. Previous claims on a property within a 5-year period can affect the overall cost of insurance regardless of who holds the policy or when it is purchased. Under the Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange or CLUE, insurance companies look at a home’s history to help determine the final cost for a plan. This can be a good thing too, however. Should a home show a recently replaced roof from a previous claim, knowing the roof is newer could equate in a lower premium for a new owner.
When it comes to getting the most out of your homeowner’s insurance policy, knowing different ways your policy can be affected can make a big difference in covering the “what-ifs” of the future. When you are ready to sell your home, I am here to help with all of your real estate needs. If you’re looking for a warm and engaging professional to help you with the purchase or sale of your home, contact me today at 407-234-5313 or by email: Jeff@JeffRoyle.com.