Homeowners Insurance FAQ
Why do I need homeowners insurance?
A home for most people is the largest purchase they will ever enter into. Homeowners insurance protects the buyers and their investment in many ways. Having the proper insurance in place will ensure you are able to rebuild your home in the event of damages caused by any insured peril, without further cost to you. It also protects your investment in the contents of your home such as clothing, furniture, electronics, jewelry, etc. If you intend to borrow money for the purchase of your home, the lender will require that you have homeowners insurance in place.
If I am planning to build a new home, when do I need to get insurance?
Most insurance companies require that you have the insurance in place before the basement or slab is poured. As soon as you know when you will be starting construction, you can ask for a quote based on your start date. The insurance company will require the start and expected completion dates of construction along with all the details of the finished home. If you have an existing homeowners' policy in place, contact your broker or agent, and they may simply add an endorsement to cover the construction of the new home.
If I plan on renovating my home do I have to arrange for further insurance?
You should contact your broker or agent before beginning construction on renovations or additions to your home. Because you are making material changes, the insurance companies have to be informed. Also, any renovations or additions will affect the value of your home and you will want to make sure that you are properly insured.
Will my homeowners insurance cover my jewelry and art collection?
Homeowners insurance policies vary from company to company in the limits set for items like jewelry, art, photography equipment, musical instruments and so on. Read your policy carefully to find out what your particular limits are. If the value of the items you are concerned with exceed the limit, you will need to schedule them in order to have them insured. This may require professional appraisals, pictures and specific information related to each item.
Will my homeowners insurance cover my business that I operate from home?
Most insurance companies provide coverage for home based businesses on their homeowner policies, but limits can vary. Contact your insurance company through your agent or broker with the details of your business, including any equipment specific to the business. Depending on the nature of your home based business, there may be an additional premium charged or you may have to acquire a separate policy.
If I plan a vacation, how is my homeowners insurance affected?
If you plan on being away for a period of time, you must inform your insurance company of the dates, and what arrangements you have made to ensure the safety of your home and contents. Insurance companies have different criteria for this and you should contact your agent or broker to make sure you are in compliance. In the event that you have put your home up for sale and the home is vacant, your existing policy will not cover any losses. You must contact your insurance company, and arrange for the proper insurance before the home becomes vacant.