Home Buying Tools
Insurance 101

Homeowner’s Insurance

A little Homeowners Insurance 101

A standard homeowners policy generally covers four categories: The structure of the home; belongings; liability if you or your family members hurt anyone or damage anyone’s property; and additional living expenses if you have to live away from home due to fire or other insured damage.

Know your home’s value

Before buying insurance, it’s important to know how much it would take to replace the home and its contents. Do a room-by-room inventory and note the make, model and serial number of products. Photos and a video inventory also are very helpful. Keep a copy of the inventory list, pictures and video in a safety deposit box or with a relative.

Choosing the right policy and insurer

Make sure to shop around and get quotes from at least three companies. Don’t just shop price, however. A low price is no bargain if claim service is slow or the policy doesn’t cover everything you need. Not all policies promise to cover the entire replacement cost of a home.

Saving on insurance

The most common way to save on insurance costs is by selecting a higher deductible. Also, bundling all of your insurance needs — car, life, etc. — can result in discounts. Ask about discounts for such things as home security devices, low claim rates, etc.