Home insurance is essential for every homeowner because their home is likely their most expensive investment and most valuable asset. Additionally it is their family's dwelling and where they keep all their personal items. There are two types of home insurance that you will want to have depending on your specific housing situation, which are Building Insurance and Contents Insurance.
Building insurance covers the actual structure of the dwelling as where contents insurance covers the items inside the house, such as your electronics, TV, DVD players, appliances, clothing, art, jewelry, and other personal items. When considering home insurance, think about what you own and what is your responsibility to have insured. If you own your home and reside there, you will want to have both types of coverage. If you are the owner of a structure but rent it to a tenant, you will want to have at least building insurance and likely also some contents coverage. If you are a tenant who resides in a building but do not own it, you will want to have contents insurance but not necessarily building insurance.
Home insurance companies vary as do their policies. When shopping around for quotes on homeowners coverage, be sure to know exactly what is covered - and more importantly, what is not covered. For instance, some policies may insure the items on the contents coverage in a storage unit outside the home, such as gardening equipment or bikes,, whereas other companies may not. Even if you find a very cheap policy, it may not end up saving you money in the end if it does not have as much coverage in the event of a claim. Be sure to know exactly what is covered before choosing to buy any quote.
In a home insurance policy, the building insurance covers the cost of the permanent structures of the home and the land that you own. This may include the outside structure of the dwelling and may include the permanent fixtures, like fitted kitchen units, sinks, baths, toilets, etc. It may also cover the outbuildings and boundary structures, such as garages and sheds or fences and walls.
As every company varies, so do their policies. Additionally, every home is different and requires unique coverage. This should be considered when shopping around for price quotes on home insurance policies. You should communicate with an agent your specific needs and know exactly what is in a policy before you buy one. Weigh your options before making a decision. This way, you will be able to find a policy that fits your needs without spending money on items you don't need.
As your mortgage provider is considered an investor in your house, they will generally insist or require that home insurance is purchased. They may even offer a plan in association with the mortgage. This may or may not be the best value for the homeowner. You should get additional quotes before making a decision on what home insurance policy to choose.
There are several factors that go into the price of this type of home insurance, which include the age of the structure, its location, the building materials and other such factors. When getting a home insurance quote, you must also disclose any information that may effect you in the event of a claim. For instance, if you live in a flood prone area but fail to make sure this is included in your policy, you claim may be denied or not even valid in the event of a flood. If you are looking for both types of coverage, you may find a company that will offer discounts when combining policies. They may also include savings on other types of coverage, such as automobile or travel.
Tenants should be well aware that their landlord's policy will most likely not insure their personal possessions that are within their rental unit. These should be covered under a separate policy purchased by the renter. Renters will likely only need contents coverage but should make sure they know exactly what is covered. Some policies may cover only the items inside the house as where other may include gardening equipment or bicycles in a garage or shed.
What's Covered By Building Insurance
Building home insurance generally covers the cost of replacing items from the damage of perils such as the following:
- Vandalism or riots
- Impact by vehicles
- Falling objects from aircraft
- Malicious behaviour
- Falling trees or branches
What's Not Covered By Building Insurance
What's not covered may be more important that what is covered in the event of a claim. If there are specific items you need covered that are not generally in a policy, be sure to talk to your agent about these concerns so they are added to your home insurance. You will want to find out if your house is in a high risk area for any specific types of damage and make sure these are covered. These can include perils such as the following:
- DIY home improvement damage
- Radioactive contamination
- Pressure waves from aircraft
When it comes to home insurance, contents coverage is optional but is highly recommended. Because your mortgage provider or landlord do not have a stake in the contents of a house, they do not require this type of policy, However, when considering contents coverage, you should think about all the items in your home and how much it would cost to replace them. Consider all your valuables, such as your electronics, computers, laptops, DVD players, TVs, clothing, jewelry, art, video game consoles, furniture, appliances, kitchen ware, bicycles, sporting goods, and all your other valuables. Now think about how much it would cost to replace all these items if they were damages in a flood or fire or taken by a thief.
If you own your home and have purchased building coverage as part of your home insurance, you will likely be offered discounts on contents coverage if you buy from the same company. Be sure to discuss this possibility with your agent.
What's Covered by Contents Insurance
Contents insurance covers items that are not part of the actual structure of the home. This can include furniture, clothing, jewelry or home fixtures such as carpets or curtains. Some include possessions outside of the home, like the contents of your handbag or wallet if stolen or lost. You must know exactly what is covered in a specific policy before you buy to ensure it covers all the items you need to be insured. In addition to the items inside your home, some commonly covered items are as follows:
- Bicycle kept outside the house
- Laptop used at work, school or university
- Contents of a handbag or wallet
- Shed or garage items, such as gardening equipment and lawnmowers
- Credit cards and baggage while traveling
Generally, a contents home insurance policy will cover the cost of items damaged by the following eventualities:
- Theft or vandalism
- Damage by fire
- Damage by flood
- Damage by earthquake
What's Not Covered by Contents Insurance
Certain exceptional circumstances are not generally covered. When getting home insurance quotes, be sure to talk to your agent about what is not covered under the policy. If any of these items are a concern to you, find out how they can be added and how much they will cost. Especially consider whether you have any specific items of significant value, such as antiques, jewelry or artwork as these may not be covered in a standard policy. Some examples include the following:
- Loss of an item outside a certain distance from your property
- Wilful damage of property
- Damage caused by DIY
- Glass damage within your property
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