Here’s a list of questions and answers that the team here at Corken+Company found helpful for those wanting to know more about homeowners insurance!
I’m a first-time home buyer. What should I consider when choosing insurance?
No two homeowners’ needs are exactly the same. Your unique needs need unique coverage. For example, a classical musician may be looking to protect their prized instruments, whereas an entrepreneur running a side hustle might be concerned with protecting the inventory stored in their garage. Make sure to get a plan that covers your unique lifestyle!
What are the most common types of claims? What is the claims process like?
Homeowners insurance helps people prepare for the unexpected, such as damage from wind, hail, plumbing failures, theft, and fire. The claims process focuses on delivering the protection your policy promises when you need it. Your insurance company will work with you to understand what happened, assess what was damaged, and help you recover. The aim is for the process to be as simple as possible for the homeowner, so they can focus on moving forward.
How is condo insurance different from home insurance? How can I make sure my condo insurance has the coverage I need?
While homeowners coverage is for an entire building, condo insurance covers your unit and belongings if they are stolen or damaged by things like fire or vandalism.
Your condo association’s insurance policy may help cover areas such as the boiler room and the roof, as well as hallways and other shared spaces. In some cases, that policy may cover the structure of your own condo unit, including the walls and floors or even your unit’s original fixtures. It’s a good idea to understand what protection your condo association has in place so you know what types of additional coverage your personal policy should provide.
Are there any surprising things that aren’t covered by a typical homeowners insurance policy?
Flood and earthquake damage are not covered and require an additional separate policy. Other types of damage, such as water backup from an outside sewer or drain, also require additional coverage. Talking with an insurance agent is a great way to understand the terms of your policy and learn about optional ways to expand your coverage.
How is escrow related to homeowners insurance?
Some mortgage lenders require that an escrow account is set up to pay for your homeowners insurance and taxes. Then the lender pays the home insurance premium with money from your escrow payments. This means you will not pay the insurance company directly. However, you still control which insurance company you use. Starting by getting a personalized quote is a great way to keep your home-buying efforts on track.
Does my homeowners insurance cover small damages, like a stolen bike?
Personal property coverage typically covers theft, but a deductible will likely apply before your coverage kicks in. Coverage limits may also apply. Your insurance agent will be able to help you adjust your coverage or answer questions about your policy. You can also explore coverage options for possessions like sports equipment, riding lawn mowers, and more. Taking inventory of what you want to protect is an important part of getting the right insurance policy.
While a good price may influence your decision, remember that a dependable insurance company is very important if you ever need to file a claim. It’s a good idea to talk to an insurance agent about costs and coverage before buying an insurance policy.