For many people, buying a house is one of the biggest financial investments they will make. To protect the structure from unexpected damages and disasters, it’s smart to purchase a comprehensive homeowners insurance policy. If you're ready to shop for coverage, but don’t know what you need or would be most useful, here are several key questions to ask an agent.
Concerns to Address About Home Insurance
1. What Does a Typical Policy Cover?
Most policies pay for damages that impact the home, surrounding property, and structures such as garages and sheds. The covered perils tend to include a wide range of threats, such as hurricanes, fire, theft, vandalism, hail, and fallen trees. Homeowners insurance providers will also typically pay for the repair or replacement costs of personal items such as furniture, appliances, TVs, and other valuables. Moreover, most standard plans pay for the medical expenses of guests injured on the property.
2. How Do I File a Claim if My Home Is Damaged?
The first step is to contact the homeowners insurance carrier to let them know what happened. An agent will assist with filing a claim to assess the damage. In the meantime, take pictures of the affected property or, in the case of a burglary, make a list of the stolen items. Depending on the carrier, the processing clock starts the minute you submit a claim. Follow-up and repair or replacement times will vary with each provider.
3. What Is Not Covered?
Most homeowners will have to take out separate policies to cover flood and earthquake damages. Particularly, if a resident lives in a designated flood zone, they may be required by their lender to have coverage. In other instances, certain personal items, like antiques, expensive artwork, fine jewelry, and guns, might also need additional protection.