Home, Condo, Renters & Manufactured Homes
For many of us our home is our most valuable possession. The time to think about the unthinkable disaster is before it happens to you. If your home were damaged or destroyed, insurance can help you repair or rebuild your home and replace damaged possessions.
The main purpose of insurance is to protect you against losses you cannot afford. Few people have the financial resources to rebuild their homes. In addition to protecting your home and possessions, homeowners insurance also provides liability coverage to protect you from financial ruin if someone is injured on your property and sues for damages.
A homeowners insurance policy consists of coverage for your dwelling and your personal property. It also includes liability insurance which pays for injuries to other people or damages to their property accidentally caused by you, your family or your pets. You also can buy several types of additional insurance for property that is not listed in your homeowners policy or for perils not covered — such as flood — for which you need a separate policy. You do this by either buying a separate policy or by adding an endorsement or rider to your policy.
Tips for Keeping Your Rates Low
There are some simple steps you can take to reduce your homeowner’s premiums.
- Raise Your Deductible – A deductible is the amount you pay before the insurance starts to pay for your loss. Since the purpose of insurance is to pay for the losses you cannot afford, raise your deductible to a limit that you could handle in case of a loss.
- New Home – If your home is less than 10 years old, you may be eligible for a new home discount.
- Make Your Home Safer – You may be eligible for a discount if you have a burglar and fire alarms systems and/or sprinkler systems. Monitored systems will earn a bigger discount than unmonitored systems.
- Construction Material – When you buy a home, look for fire-resistant construction, such as brick, masonry or rock. You may pay a lower premium for hail-resistant roofs, such as those made of concrete tile, while wood roofs may bring a surcharge. Check the location of the nearest fire department, and avoid buying in floodprone areas. Non-Smoker Discounts.
Condominiums and townhouses have special insurance needs. They don’t need as much insurance as a house, but owners have more to insure than a renter. The insurance needs for a condo owner include personal property and liability overage. Special policies for condominium owners, known as form HO-6, will provide the liability and personal property protection a condominium owner needs.
As a condominium owner, one needs to insure not only their personal possessions in the condo, but also any built in units such as cabinets, fixtures, appliances and shelves. In addition to covering the personal property, a condo owner also needs liability coverage. The liability portion of the policy would cover injures or damage to people or property that the condo owner would be liable for.
Below is a checklist of the top four questions to consider when choosing a condominium insurance policy:
- What are your ownership and insurance responsibilities in the condo association’s Master Deed (the insurance requirements the association expects from you)? Almost all associations have a master policy insurance that covers you for the actual structure and common elements such as a swimming pool or tennis court owned by all unit owners. The association documents and the master policy spell out very specifically where common areas end and where your unit starts. In some cases, for example, your unit may start inside the wallboard. In others, the wallboard may be considered part of your unit.
- Does the policy you are considering include broad water damage coverage for problems such as sewer and drain back-ups?
- Does your condo association provide comprehensive or blanket coverage to protect you against other condo owners who may not have adequate coverage?
- Do you have expensive personal items such as jewelry or furs that you may need additional personal property coverage for?
Even though you don’t own your own home you have personal property that can be lost to fires, burglaries and even lawsuits.
While most homeowners are insured for these risks, many renters are not. No one requires renters to buy insurance to protect their personal property, so many do not.
The first time most people think about property insurance is with their first home since it is required by the mortgage company. Although renter’s insurance is usually not required, it is just as necessary to have. Not only will it protect your personal items, but it will also help with temporary housing and liability protection, such as medical expenses for people on your property or a lawyer if you are sued by someone unintentionally injured by you.
If the ceiling in your apartment is damaged by a storm, the ceiling is covered by your landlord. But what about your brand new stereo and TV that was damaged? Also, while the ceiling is being fixed, do you have enough money to immediately find another place to stay? These are the types of things that would be covered by your renters insurance policy.
Renters insurance can help you pay for repairing or replacing personal property that is damaged, destroyed or stolen. It may also cover most lawsuits or claims against you if you are responsible for injuring others or damaging their property
Manufactured Home Insurance
Manufactured home insurance provides coverage for your mobile home, garage or shed, and your personal belongings. It may also provide financial protection in case you unintentionally injure someone or damage their property.
Having the right insurance helps you protect one of your most valuable assets – your home.
Fire. Theft. Windstorms. These are risks you face every day as a mobile home owner. You are also at risk in case someone gets hurt while at your home, or you accidentally damage someone else’s property.
Mobile home insurance offers peace of mind in knowing that your finances won’t suffer if unexpected events like these happen.
Do you have a mortgage on your mobile home? The financial institution that holds your mortgage may require you to have mobile home insurance.
Similar to conventional home insurance, mobile home insurance protects you in four basic ways:
- Enables you to repair/replace or get actual cash value for your mobile home usually depending on age.
- Allows you to replace your personal belongings if they are destroyed, stolen or damaged.
- Covers injuries that happen to other people or their property while in your home.
- Covers your additional living expenses if you’re forced to leave your home because of a claim.
Before purchasing mobile home insurance, consider the following questions:
- What would it cost to replace your mobile home?
- What would it cost to replace the contents of your mobile home?
- Do you have an inventory and photographs of your personal possessions?
- What kind of protection do you have against liability claims?
- Do you have items that should be insured with special coverage such as jewelry, cameras, collectibles etc.
- Does your mobile home have a fire extinguisher, deadbolt locks or other money-saving safety features?