See which different second home insurance options are available, whether you use your home as a summer getaway or a rental property.
SmartFinancial’s blogs are full of advice and answers to all your tough homeowners insurance questions.
See which different second home insurance options are available, whether you use your home as a summer getaway or a rental property.
Insurance policies for RVs, manufactured homes or mobile homes are common forms of tiny home insurance. Learn the different ways and costs for insuring your tiny house.
Owning a trampoline can be a fun addition to your home but you should also expect higher homeowners insurance rates. Find out why.
Flood Zone V is a high-risk flood zone typically located in coastal areas. Find out if your home is located in Zone V and how this zone can affect your home insurance.
Zone B is a low-risk flood zone with a 0.2% chance of being flooded in a given year. Find out if your home is located in Zone B and whether you need flood coverage.
Flood Zone AO is a high-risk flood zone with a requirement to buy flood insurance if you have a government-backed loan. Learn more about flood zones and buying flood coverage.
If you’ve taken out a mortgage on a house it’s likely that you are required to have homeowners insurance to protect that asset. Even when you don’t have a mortgage, it’s a good idea to carry home insurance. If your lender set you up with a policy, you may be overpaying for home insurance and should compare homeowners insurance rates.
Home insurance covers everything in a home from the walls in. Home insurance does not pay for repairs and maintenance problems. It is only meant to cover major losses, such as rebuilding a home, caused by specified named perils in your home insurance policy. Standard covered perils include fire, theft, smoke, windstorms, lightning, hail, explosions, vandalism and theft. It will also pay for your personal belongings if you are burglarized. Even though your belongings are covered, there are limits so it’s best to buy an endorsement for expensive equipment or a rider for expensive jewelry.
A homeowners insurance policy is also different from a homeowners association fee (HOA). An HOA fee only covers common areas and amenities. Your HOA may or may not cover your roof.
Liability is also covered with a home insurance policy. For instance, if someone gets hurt by accident on your property or if your dog bites someone and they are injured, you’re covered by homeowners insurance for medical bills and legal costs if you are sued.
The Actual Cash Value of your home is based on the fair market value of your property before it incurred a loss. The ACV is how much it would cost to replace your property, minus depreciation. Homes depreciate and lose value due to wear and tear. The ACV of your home does not include the value of the land.
This is the other option to Actual Cash Value (ACV) coverage. RCV pays the replacement cost to repair or replace the damaged or destroyed property back to the condition before the loss occurred.
A homeowners insurance policy that provides coverage for various losses with only one limit is a blanket coverage policy. Standard homeowners insurance has separate limits for dwelling coverage, personal belongings and liability.
Floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes and large hailstorms are examples of a catastrophe, which is an event that affects an entire geographic area. Catastrophes can cause injury and/or property damage.
You are responsible for a share of the costs associated with a loss, even when it’s covered by your home insurance. The deductible is what you have to pay before your insurance company begins to pay for a claim. Deductibles usually range between $500 and $2,000.
Depreciation is the gradual decrease in value of your property, whether it be the main dwelling (your house) or your contents/personal property, like your fridge and stove. Over time, these assets all depreciate in value unless they are replaced or renovated.
Coverages that you add to a standard homeowners insurance policy are called endorsements. If you have expensive belongings or equipment, it’s important to have endorsements to ensure that you are covered in case of a catastrophe or other loss.
A home inventory is a list of all your possessions along with their value. Adding receipts to an inventory is always preferred if you file a claim. It will also help you claim losses on tax forms. Visit here for steps on how to create a home inventory using photographs and videos.
A standard homeowners insurance policy only covers losses caused by specific causes, also called Named Perils. Named Perils include fire and wind. An open peril policy, on the other hand, provides coverage for all types of losses or damages except those specifically excluded in a policy. Flood and earthquake are excluded in standard homeowners policies and must be bought separately.
This is the amount you pay, usually monthly, to keep your homeowners insurance coverage active. Your home insurance premium is determined by how likely you are to file a claim and the value, location and age of your home and home systems as well as other risk factors.
Dwelling coverage is also the amount that goes up every year. The dwelling is the main structure of your home, not a detached garage or shed.
You are often covered for these structures in the event of a storm that takes down multiple structures on your property: fences, decks and built-in appliances like furnaces and water heaters.
Also called contents coverage, this type of insurance includes the possessions in your home, shed and garage as well as items outside your home if they’re damaged or destroyed in a covered event.
If your home becomes uninhabitable due to a covered event, Temporary Living Expenses coverage would pay for food and lodging.
If someone is injured on your property, liability coverage will protect you from lawsuits and liability claims. Make sure you have adequate limits.
An optional coverage, Sump Pump Overflow coverage can take care of costly repairs due to water damage caused by a backed-up drain or an overflowing sump.
Many insurers will now add this protection to a standard policy. You’ll be alerted when credit accounts are opened in your name, when an account is changed, a credit card institution pulls an inquiry on your credit and more.
If home systems, smart-home devices or appliances break down, this coverage will cover some costs.
If there is a flood and your home and/or belongings are damaged or destroyed, you are not covered by a standard home insurance policy. Flood insurance is always sold separately.
Earthquakes can do extensive damage, even when they are mild. Damages caused by an earthquake are only covered by earthquake insurance, which is sold separately from a standard homeowners insurance policy.
This is a standard form homeowners policy, which covers 10 named perils: fire or smoke, explosions, lightning, hail and windstorms, theft, vandalism, damage from vehicles, damage from aircraft, riots and civil commotion and volcanic eruption.
An HO-2 broad form homeowners policy covers all the perils in HO-1 plus: falling objects; weight of ice, snow or sleet; freezing of household systems like AC or heating; sudden and accidental tearing apart, cracking, burning or bulging of pipes and other household systems; accidental discharge or overflow of water or stream; sudden and accidental damage from artificially generated electrical current.
An HO-3 special form policy covers everything in HO-1 and HO-2 and more. It also doesn’t limit overage to named perils only. In fact, you’re covered for anything that is not specifically excluded. Flood and earthquake policies, however, are still separate. With an HO-3, your home and attached structures are protected.
Also known as renters insurance, this policy type is for renters and only covers belongings and liability, not the structure, which is owned by the landlord. The coverage is similar to the HO-2 broad form of homeowners insurance coverage.
The comprehensive form covers more perils. It is an open-peril policy, which means it covers everything that is not specifically excluded. This type of policy covers more perils than the special form, HO-3, and you can choose your own personal liability limits. The HO-5 form is the most comprehensive homeowners insurance you can buy, but it is not offered by many insurers.
Also known as condo insurance, this policy is designed specifically for this type of homeownership. It protects belongings and personal liability, extending to the walls, floors and ceilings of the unit. Most insurers who offer standard homeowners insurance also offer condo insurance.
The mobile home form is the same as the HO-3 form but designed for mobile homes and manufactured homes. Not all insurers offer this form. Many do.
An HO-8 policy addresses the coverage concerns for older homes. It is basically the same as the HO-3 with variations to suit older homes.
Searching for the best home insurance takes enormous effort. Each insurance company determines rates differently. Understanding how your property insurance is determined may save you time and money. It’s always a wise option to compare home insurance rates. Ready for a quote? SmartFinancial will help you get the most affordable home insurance. Below are some factors most insurers use to determine your rate:
When you’re shopping for homeowners insurance, it’s important to compare the same types of policies. For example, if you’re comparing an HO-2 against an HO-3 policy, you’re comparing apples to oranges because the HO-3 offers more coverage and will usually cost more. It can be time consuming getting rates from various carriers. Make sure you’re buying adequate coverage with limits that will cover your possessions. If limits do not cover all of your assets, consider buying endorsements for particularly expensive items. If you experience much foot traffic in your home, consider the highest liability limits in case someone is hurt on your property. If you want to be extra secure, consider purchasing a personal umbrella policy, which will ensure that you never have to pay for out-of-pocket expenses if an event results in injury or even death
Many insurance companies offer discounts for bundling home and auto. The ideal bundle policy offers a discount on top of fair prices for each policy. It’s important to compare prices with discounts applied to see which carrier is offering you the best rate. Many factors determine a car insurance policy and a home insurance policy and different insurers weigh factors differently. That’s why it’s important to comparison shop bundle policies. After you shop home insurance for a quote, ask the agent about bundle offers for both car and home.
The average cost of a homeowners insurance policy is $1,200 a year. Prices vary according to many factors, which include location, square footage, construction type, and more. See more above on factors that determine a home insurance rate.
Flood insurance and earthquake insurance are separate policies. Homeowners insurance may or may not cover some types of water damage but if the area in which you live is prone to flooding, it’s important to buy this separate policy. Some perils are not covered by home insurance so it’s important to speak with an agent to make sure you’re aware of everything that’s excluded in your policy. Also, you are only covered up to limits for your possessions, so make sure you have high-enough limits or consider buying endorsements to protect more expensive items separately. To see more on what’s not covered in a homeowners policy, visit here.
If you prefer to start your home insurance quote online, you can use an insurance comparison-shopping engine, like SmartFinancial, to get many free cheap homeowners insurance quotes, which will accurately reflect the prices offered in your area and based on your information.
Once you start the process on SmartFinancial.com , you’ll answer some questions, which will determine how accurate your online home insurance quote will be. Usually, when you’re given the official quote, the information will be on hand and in your records so it does you no good to lie. In fact, if you’re caught lying, your home insurance rates may go up because you’ll be seen as a potentially high-risk insured. Otherwise, SmartFinancial can give you an accurate quote in 5 minutes.
Do you hear gurgling or trickling noises from the toilet? Does water drain slowly? Do you have a sink hole in your yard? Is your grass suddenly vibrantly green in patches?
If you're a new homeowner or if you simply decided to look into what homeowners insurance covers, we have answers about your policy.
For tree removal you will have to first pay your deductible, which costs anywhere between $250 and $1,000. Also, your rate may go up if you file a claim.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 10 people die from unintentional drowning every single day.
Just because you have purchased a Home insurance policy does not mean you are protected from every type of loss. Learn all about common exclusions.
Flood Zone AH is a high-risk flood zone with flood insurance purchase requirements. Learn more about the risks and requirements of Zone AH as well as flood policy options.
If you have an instrument or instruments you use as a hobby, you may be covered by the personal property limits of your home insurance policy. See if it's enough.
The cost of flood insurance varies by state with typical numbers as low as $481 in Florida and as high as $3,647 in Vermont. See what prices are in your area and if you need it.
Medical payments coverage is one type of coverage under homeowners insurance that covers small injuries that guests suffer while on your property. Learn how it works and why it's worth having.
Private mortgage insurance (PMI) is insurance you must buy if you cannot meet the 20% down payment for a private mortgage loans. See how it works.
Service line coverage is often cheaper and can provide more coverage than service plans offered by utility companies. Read more to see if you need it.
If you live in a high-risk flood zone, your home insurer or mortgage lender may require you to buy flood insurance. See if you need flood insurance.
While your home is being built or renovated, you could be exposed to an added financial risk. See how builders risk insurance may help.
It's important to have adequate homeowners insurance and be prepared for common hazards that may render your home unlivable.
It’s important to understand that while a standard homeowners insurance policy may provide some coverage, it may not be enough to meet all your needs.
A standard homeowners policy does not cover the damage to a home that results from an earthquake. See what you need to do to get covered.
Your home insurance coverage will not protect you if a flood damages your home. You'll need a separate flood insurance policy. Learn more.
Whether you have a homeowners insurance policy on a primary residence or insurance on a second home, it's important to have adequate dwelling coverage
Buying a home is a huge investment, which is why you'll want it protected. Is homeowners insurance required when making that investment? Learn more here!
See what home insurance does not cover. You may be surprised.
Commonly covered perils under homeowner’s insurance.
The basics of what a home insurance policy covers.