Top Five Homeowners Insurance Questions and Answers
Got homeowners insurance questions? Here are the top five homeowners insurance questions complete with answers.
What does homeowners insurance cover?
Homeowners insurance protects your home and your personal possessions from damage due to fire, lightning, burglary, vandalism, and acts of nature. It also protects you against liability lawsuits if someone is hurt in your home and they sue you.
How much insurance do I need?
You need enough homeowners insurance to cover the cost of rebuilding your home if it's destroyed, to replace your personal possessions if they're damaged, and to protect you from liability lawsuits.
To assess how much home coverage you need, get the square-foot building costs in your area from a builder or a realtor, then multiply that figure by your home's square footage. For coverage for your personal possessions, take an inventory on everything you own and use the total value. And for liability insurance, figure enough coverage to protect your assets in the event you're sued.
What about flood and earthquake insurance?
Most standard homeowners policies do not provide flood or earthquake coverage. If you live in a flood or earthquake zone you'll need to get additional insurance.
Where can I get cheap homeowners insurance?
Insurance premiums can vary by hundreds, even thousands of dollars a year from one company to another, so the best way to get cheap homeowners insurance is to comparison shop.
There are now websites that let you compare rates between various insurance companies. All you do is fill out a simple question, wait for your insurance quotes, then choose the cheapest one.
The better comparison sites even have a chat feature that lets you talk with an insurance professional online so you can get answers to all your insurance questions. (See link below.)
How do I find a good insurance company?
Most states maintain a department of insurance website that provides a host of consumer information, including claims that have been filed against insurance companies. If your state does not list consumer information, you can go to California's website (insurance.ca.gov) to get it.
JD Power & Associates rates homeowners insurance companies based on input from customers who own insurance policies with those companies. These ratings give you a good idea of how an insurance company treats its customers and how it pays its claims.