Homeowners insurance (also known as home insurance) isn’t a luxury; it’s a necessity. And not just because it protects your home and possessions against damage and theft. Virtually all mortgage companies require borrowers to have insurance coverage for the full or fair value of a property (usually the purchase price) and won’t make a loan or finance a residential real estate transaction without proof of it.
You don’t even have to own your home to need insurance; many landlords require their tenants to maintain renter’s insurance coverage. But whether it’s required or not, it’s smart to have this kind of protection. We’ll walk you through the basics of homeowner’s insurance policies.
- Homeowners insurance policies generally cover destruction and damage to a residence’s interior and exterior, the loss or theft of possessions, and personal liability for harm to others.
- Three basic levels of coverage exist: actual cash value, replacement cost, and extended replacement cost/value.
- Policy rates are largely determined by the insurer’s risk that you’ll file a claim; they assess this risk based on past claim history associated with the home, the neighborhood, and the home’s condition.
- In shopping for a policy, get quotes from multiple carriers, usually through an agency that is an independent broker working with multiple companies.