Below is a list of the most common questions pertaining to home insurance.
Q: What factors can affect your home insurance premiums?
The following factors can affect your insurance home insurance premium:
- The home features and characteristics your home's age, type of structure, wiring, roof and garage can affect your home insurance premium.
Older homes can often cost more to insure, and those costs can differ depending on whether your home is brick, frame, and stone or has synthetic siding.
Location of your home can change your home insurance premium. For instance, your home insurance rate can be affected if your home is in close proximity to a fire station or if it is exposed to extreme weather, such as hurricanes, tornadoes or earthquakes; or is in a neighborhood more prone to theft.
- Protective devices if your house has burglar alarm systems, smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, sprinkler systems and deadbolt locks can lower your home insurance premium.
- If you have a history of claims on a home insurance policy, you may pay a higher premium.
Q: Am I required to have home insurance if I own a home?
You can legally own a home without home insurance. However, if you finance your home with a mortgage, your lender most likely will require you to have home insurance coverage to protect your home in case of damage cause by unforeseen circumstances, such as fires or natural disasters.
After you pay off your mortgage, you are not required to have home insurance. However, you should keep your home insurance policy active to avoid risking what you have invested in your home.
Q: Why should I complete a home inventory?
When you purchase a home and a home insurance policy, you should create an up-to-date home inventory to expedite a claim settlement if you ever need to make one.
With a complete home inventory, your insurance company can verify property easier, which makes settling your claim easier. Plus, you can easily verify losses for your income tax return with an updated home inventory.
Q: How do I complete a home inventory?
Start your home inventory by making a list of your possessions, describing each item, and noting the make and model and where each item was purchased. Include sales receipts, purchase contracts and appraisals if you have them, too. Organize clothing into categories for easier reference.
Q: What is the difference between canceling and non-renewing a home insurance policy?
Canceling a home insurance policy and choosing not to renew it are two very different actions an insurance company can take.
Typically, insurance companies can only cancel an active policy if one or all of the following occurred:
The policy has been in force less than 60 days
You fail to pay the premium
You commit fraud or made serious misrepresentations on your application
Non-renewing a home insurance policy is a decision you or your insurance company can make to discontinue coverage at the end of a policy term.
Q: What parts make up a home insurance policy?
Although home insurance policies differ in their actual structure, most contain the same basic components:
Declarations page it is usually the first page of your home insurance policy, it typically contains the following summary information:
Name and address of the insured
The amount of coverage in the policy
Description of the insured property
Cost of the insurance
Name of the insurance company insuring the risk