One of the first questions people ask about home insurance is, “Do I have to have it?”. In many cases, the answer is no, but a better question would be, “Do I need homeowner’s insurance?”. There are many reasons why you need homeowner’s insurance. You should routinely review your insurance policy to ensure you have the best coverage for your unique lifestyle. Whether you have an existing homeowner’s policy or you’re currently uninsured, consider these reasons why you should shop around for home insurance.
1. Your Home Isn’t Insured
If you have no homeowner’s insurance, ask yourself these questions. Can you afford to replace your home and possessions in the event of a total loss? Where would you live if you suddenly lost your home? Homeowner’s insurance is not a requirement in the state of Massachusetts, but there are many reasons you should have it. Here’s why:
- Your mortgage lender or bank will require it if you’re making payments on your home.
- It will pay to repair or replace your home and possessions if they’re damaged or destroyed by a disaster.
- Many policies pay for “loss of use”. It means your expenses will be paid if your home is temporarily uninhabitable after a disaster.
- Homeowner’s insurance protects against robbery and theft.
- It will cover the costs of medical bills or lawsuits due to an injury that occurs on your property.
2. Forced Coverage Is Expensive
Most banks and mortgage lenders insist you carry home insurance. If something happens to your home, you likely won’t have the money (or incentive) to pay off your mortgage, and this is the only way lenders can protect their investment in your house. If you were in a rush during the purchase of your home or, for some reason, couldn’t purchase insurance, the mortgage company or bank will supply a forced coverage policy. While this does meet the goal of getting the mortgage, forced coverage policies are expensive and most likely to only protect the interests of the mortgage company. Shopping for homeowner’s insurance yourself will save money and offer more benefits than a forced coverage policy.
3. Your Property Value Has Increased
The housing market fluctuates from time to time due to the economy and other factors. However, real estate typically increases in market value. For example, if you bought your home five years ago for $250,000, it may be worth $325,000 now. If you don’t review your homeowner’s policy annually, you might find you don’t have sufficient coverage to rebuild your home at today’s rates.
4. You’ve Gained New Possessions
Homeowner’s insurance doesn’t just protect your home. It also protects the possessions inside your home. In the event of a covered event, your home insurance will reimburse you when possessions like your appliances, furniture, clothing, and other belongings are damaged or destroyed. If you already have a homeowner’s insurance policy and haven’t updated it in a while, your policy may not reflect the value of newer furniture and appliances.
5. Expensive Lawsuits or Medical Bills Would Put You in Debt
Liability is an important part of your homeowner’s insurance coverage. If a visitor or even a trespasser gets injured on your property, it could be your responsibility. General liability on your homeowners’ insurance policy will pay for medical expenses such as surgery, X-rays, an ambulance ride, or hospital stay for guests injured on your property. Liability will also help pay for your defense if an injury results in a lawsuit.
6. You Don’t Know the Extent of Your Home Coverage
If you’ve had the same insurance policy for a long time and don’t know much about your policy, odds are, it’s time for a change. The value of your property and possessions is not stagnant. It’s common for property to gain value. It’s also likely that you may have accrued additional valuable possessions like electronics, jewelry, artwork, firearms, furniture, and appliances. Taking the time to review the extent of your coverage and compare it to your current lifestyle is critical to avoiding gaps in coverage.
7. You Could Save Money
Many people think that staying with the same insurance company for a long time is the best way to get low rates. While that can be true when you’re working with a meticulous insurance agent, simply remaining loyal doesn’t guarantee savings. Insurance companies frequently change the discounts they offer, and changes in your lifestyle could also make you eligible for discounts. By shopping around to compare rates, you might reduce your monthly premium and put more money in your pocket.
8. You Have a New Hot Tub, Swimming Pool, or Trampoline
Swimming pools, hot tubs, and trampolines are a great way to make your backyard a fun gathering spot for the whole family. They also add a layer of risk to your property. When you change the risk level of your property, it’s important to review your policy. It is to ensure you have sufficient liability coverage to protect you if someone gets hurt by these new additions.
9. You Started a Home Business
A record-breaking 5.4 million new business applications were filed in 2021, far surpassing the 4.4 million filed in 2020. Many new businesses begin in the home, and homeowner’s insurance might not cover your new business investments. You may need additional coverage for electronics and office equipment or a separate commercial policy to supply the coverage you need.
10. It’s Not as Difficult or Expensive as You Think
Whether you’re buying homeowner’s insurance for the first time or considering shopping for a new policy, comparing policies and rates isn’t the complex process it was a decade or two ago. Most homeowners are surprised to learn that the average homeowner’s insurance premiums range from $100-$170 per month. Re-shopping for home insurance can be accomplished in less than 24 hours when you have your existing policy declarations page on hand, and you visit an independent insurance agency. Your independent insurance agent can compare prices for the coverage you need across multiple insurance companies to help you get the most competitive rates for homeowners insurance that meets your lifestyle. You skip the research and still get the best rates available.
Homeowners’ insurance allows you to get reimbursed if your home, outbuildings, or possessions are damaged or destroyed in a disaster. It also provides critical coverage to protect against the cost of injuries that occur on your property and the cost of securing a place to live while your home is under repair. Don’t wait for a disaster to consider the dangers of being uninsured or underinsured. Contact the independent insurance agents at LoPriore Insurance to find insurance that fits your lifestyle at the most competitive rates available.