Many clients ask our brokers, “Is homeowners insurance required?” In short, “yes.”
In the few instances where homeowners insurance is NOT REQUIRED–you should still get it anyways. Buying a home is the largest purchase you’ll likely make in your lifetime–so it’s important to protect it. Homeowners insurance provides that protection.
In some cases, homeowners insurance is a requirement of your loan. Check with your lender when you get your loan to see if this is an expense you will have to budget for. If your home is part of a homeowners association, check with them also because they often require homeowners insurance.
Important Tips for Choosing a Homeowners Insurance Policy
- All policies are different. Call the provider and read your policy to see what is covered and what is not. ALWAYS ask the question “What is excluded?” The basic coverage plans cover losses such as fire and theft, but for coverage of losses such as weight of snow/ice or broken pipes, you will need a policy above the basic package.
- Flood and Earthquake insurance are always separate policies. If you want those disasters covered, you must get a separate policy for each loss.
- There may be some improvements you can make to your home which will lower your premiums. Ask your provider what you can do.
- Ask the provider if personal property is covered (personal items you own such as TV, jewelry, etc).
- How are claims processed? Ask about the claim process, average time it takes to process a claim, and how reimbursement happens.
- It’s good practice to have photos of your personal items and keep those photos in a safe deposit box (OUTSIDE of the home).
- Deductible vs Premium – For many people, they prefer to keep their deductible as low as possible to protect themselves against large future unexpected expenditures. However, the trade off of a low deductible is a higher premium.
- Research your provider. Get recommendations from friends. Read online reviews. Ask your real estate broker to recommend a provider that their previous clients have been happy with.
If you are in the market for a home in California, speak to one of our expert brokers who can help answer your questions about protecting your investment with homeowners insurance.
Call 1-800-287-1808 or e-mail us. We look forward to exceeding your needs as your real estate partners.
Read Also: Protect Your Home With A Home Warranty
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