Understanding Home Insurance

Home InsuranceAs a new home buyer or long-time homeowner, you have undoubtedly had someone tell you that your home is the biggest investment you will make. As if you were not already abundantly aware of that fact.

Have you ever wondered why such an obvious statement is continuously repeated? What are people really trying to say? To us, it’s simple. With a substantial investment, comes great responsibility.

Your home is where your life unfolds. It’s shared with family, friends, and pets. While it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of house shopping, remodeling, and decorating, that fact of that matter is, you are now 100% responsible for that property in its entirety. Damage to your home and belongings – damage to other people’s property. Or worse, injury to your family or other people. It is all now your obligation. Certainly not as much fun as planning a housewarming party, but a reality that must be understood as a homeowner. When you signed the dotted line, you accepted responsibility and now owe it to yourself, your guests, and your neighbors to ensure the proper safeguards are in place.

Victory Favors the Prepared 
 

Why is home insurance one of the most important products you will purchase? It’s not simply because your home is your biggest asset, but because it’s your biggest sources of risk.

Your fault or not, it is up to you to correct issues that arise. And trust us, there is so much that can go wrong. Home insurance policies can be constructed to ensure that you are prepared and protected. 

But having a home insurance policy is not enough. You must have the right home insurance policy. 

The truth is–not all policies are the same. Many companies offer coverage options that have the same name, but the application of that coverage is often different from company to company. 

Additionally, not all policies include the same endorsements (a la carte coverage options) that are vital to protecting your home and your financial well-being. It is necessary that you talk to an insurance professional so they can understand your property, your individual needs, and find the company that fits you best.

You are Not Basic. Your Insurance Shouldn’t be Either!
 

So often we will speak with people who ask for a “normal” or “basic” home insurance policy. The truth is, there is no “normal” policy. Each home and homeowner, due to their own unique characteristics, are different and often require a policy completely different from your neighbor. Home factors like year built, zip code, building material, household pets, distance from a fire hydrant, and so much more can adjust the type of policy you need. 

On a personal level, factors like marital status, household composition, financial ratings, loss history, and age are just some of the factors that change your home insurance profile. That’s why it is important to take the time to make sure you are getting the right coverage, from the right provider for your needs. 

By requesting a “basic” or “regular” home insurance policy, you are essentially leaving your coverage to the interpretation of the agent you are speaking with. If that agent does not ask the right questions, does not provide a comprehensive review, or simply isn’t in the mood to care, it’s you that will pay the price. 

What Could Possibly Go Wrong? 
 

For most, when thinking about home insurance, they think protection against fire, water, weather, and theft. Great thoughts, those are big ticket risks. But many will look at those items and think, “what are the odds of that happening to me?” 

Well, we'll save you the suspense, they’re high! But none-the-less, they elect to roll the dice and look for the fastest, easiest, and cheapest coverage they can get. This is exactly what lower caliber insurance companies are hoping for. Unfortunately, this could not be a worse mentality when looking for home insurance.

While the items listed are big drivers of claims, it only scratches the surface of what home insurance covers. Dog bites, slip and falls, medical protection, high-value items, items outside the home, ID theft, lawsuits, just to name a few. 

All items that protect you and your money. 

Further, just because you have a home insurance policy, doesn’t mean the coverage is going to work exactly the way you want it to. Particularly if you simply looked at the lowest cost. For instance, some policies will only cover a hail damaged roofs for the estimated value of the roof at the time of damage. 

Even though it will cost $7,500 for a new roof, the insurance company thinks the roof was only worth $4,500 before the hail occurred. This means you get $4,500 and the rest comes out of your pocket. An instance easily avoidable by only a few dollars a month.

Remember What You Are Buying
 

More often than we would care to admit, we will see people purchase insurance on a “penny smart, dollar foolish” basis. Meaning, the primary objective when obtaining home insurance is a low cost. Unfortunately, this notion assumes that all insurance is the same, and the only differing factor is cost. Not true! 

Like any other product, the lowest cost is often the lowest for a reason. In the case of home insurance, it can mean there is a lack of coverage, less favorable policy language, or even incorrect rating information. 

This is not to say that there isn’t a variation in price from company to company because that is true. But that can truly only be seen when you are comparing the exact same coverage and you exclude a company’s quality of claims service. 

You must understand that each insurance company is different. Some can offer very favorable claims settlements, others cannot. That’s why it is so important to understand what type of policy you have. 

That's why we chose to only work with highly reputable companies. 

There is a difference, but quality coverage does not have to be expensive. In many cases, you can obtain a quality home policy for only a small pricing difference. 

Ultimately, we encourage everyone to remember what you are getting when looking for insurance. You are not simply buying a policy. It is not a line item in the monthly budget. You are buying an experience. When you are putting your auto insurance policy together, you are putting together the type of experience you want to have when the worst things in life occur. It can be a positive experience or poor experience. But either way, it is up to you. Luckily, we are experts at constructing a positive experience!