It’s important to know the ins and outs of your home when it comes to homeowners insurance. Don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as possible when dealing with a home inspector. And remember, the questions don’t stop after the home inspection ends. There still could be some loose ends you need to tie up in case of emergencies.
A good home inspection gives details on an insurance policy
Here’s a typical question that’s asked during a home inspection:
What does my homeowner’s insurance policy cover?
It varies quite a bit. There are hundreds of insurance companies that have their own rules and regulations when it comes to standards. Liability and property are the two areas that cover policies. Here are some of the things you can expect that goes into your insurance coverage:
- Fire or lightning.
- Windstorm or hail.
- Theft or vandalism.
What does a home inspector know about property damage?
Here are several things that could occur in regards to property damage:
Does my insurance cover damage from a pipe burst?
Yes. Even if it’s an accidental discharge from the pipes, you are typically covered. A good rule of thumb: Check your plumbing and heating system once a year. Even though you’re covered, you don’t want to go through the hassle of cleaning up this mess.
Does my insurance cover damages from fire, storm, lightning, explosions and smoke?
Yes. These are all common perils that you can get reimbursed for based on your level of insurance. A solid home inspection scopes out the level of damage and will allow you to assess whether or not you should see an agent for coverage. Also, you may want to get flood insurance in case your area is prone to torrential downpours. Some mortgage companies require you to get this insurance before financing. Getting this early may allow you to purchase it at a better rate.
Does my insurance cover earthquake damage?
This is something that’s not covered. It’s completely separate from your regular coverage. If you live in an earthquake-prone area, it’s a good idea to consult an agent who will guide you through the coverage process.
Learn about the right insurance coverage
Being aware of the right insurance coverage is another thing to think about especially when it comes to your location.
How much coverage do I need for my home?
There are a few answers to this question. It depends on a number of things:
- What type of home you live in.
- The value of your home.
- Total asset value.
- Rebuilding costs due to loss.
- Whether or not you pay mortgage.
Another thing to know is that if you plan on adding any structure to your home whether it’s a shed, a guest house, or a garage, you’ll need to get coverage for those as well. Always check with an agent on additional coverage required when updating the home. A good home inspection will result in a thorough assessment of your property, which will give an idea of a proper quote for the house. Find a reputable person in your area who has the experience to do the job.
Find out what coverage to get for a condo
A condo is a different situation than what you’ll typically deal with in a home.
What kind of coverage does the condo association provide for my condo?
While you are still a homeowner, a condo has a unique situation regarding coverage. One main difference is condo owners have a special homeowner coverage called HO-6, which helps you protect your property. Since you don’t own the whole building, there’s a special plan in place to reflect the proper coverage.
Your condo association will have a master policy in place, and it’s different for each city or zone. Remember, you still need to insure your property for elements like fire, storms, vandalism and theft. Add coverage if you’re going to put in special fixtures, a garage, or something else not included in the original condition of the property.
What happens with personal property?
Is my personal property covered by my insurance?
Most personal property is covered by the insurance. However, you should consider adding scheduled personal property coverage for things like jewelry, expensive art or collectibles. This is a good way to protect those items in your homeowner’s insurance.
Home insurance is essential to protect your house and belongings. Seek out a good home inspector to assess the house. This way you’ll be more clear on how to go about seeking the right coverage for your home.
What are some concerns you have for a home inspection? Does anything else come to mind when it comes to home insurance? Let us know in the comments below.
To learn more about AAA Insurance and to get a quote, visit AAA.com/Insurance