If you are about to purchase a new home, one thing you'll need to do first is buy a homeowner's insurance policy. This type of insurance is required if you have a mortgage on your home, and even if you plan to buy your home outright, homeowner's insurance is absolutely recommended to protect your financial interests. Here are a few questions you might have as you start searching for companies and policies.
1. What does homeowner's insurance cover?
Most people realize that homeowner's insurance pays for damage to the property that occurs as a result of a natural disaster, fire, or other tragedy. But this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to home insurance coverage. Your policy should also cover damage to your personal property, such as computers and antiques, that occurs due to a disaster. It should cover theft of these items, too! Additionally, homeowner's insurance will pay for the medical bills if someone visiting your property becomes injured. Most policies will also pay for you to stay in a hotel or another apartment if your home becomes so badly damaged you can't live in it for a while.
2. How do you pay for homeowner's insurance?
Sometimes, homeowners pay their insurance company directly. But usually, you will pay your mortgage company, and they will hold the money for you until your homeowner's insurance payment is due. Then, your mortgage company will pay for your insurance policy. This way, you only have to write out one check each month for your mortgage and insurance.
3. How much should your insurance cover?
Your mortgage company will usually require that your insurance policy covers the amount it would cost to rebuild your home from scratch if something were to happen to make the home uninhabitable. However, you may want to add additional coverage if you have a lot of valuable belongings or a risk on your property -- like a trampoline -- that you fear may make people more likely to suffer an injury. An insurance company can ask you questions about your lifestyle, and based on your answers, recommend the best insurance coverage.
4. Can you change insurance companies?
Just because you have pre-paid for a year of insurance does not mean you cannot change companies in the middle of the year. If you become unhappy with your current homeowners' insurance company, you can buy a policy from a new company. The old company should refund the difference based on how long is left in your term.