When purchasing a new home, a standard homeowners policy (aka…hazard insurance) will be required by your lender. The policy should cover vandalism and theft, as well as catastrophic events such as fire, wind and lightning. It should also cover loss of use expenses, liability, medical costs if someone is injured on your property, and your personal belongings.
- Standard policy coverage can be for the cash value of your home and possessions, repair or rebuilding costs based on the original value of the home, or replacement costs that exceed your limit if necessary. Coverage does not equal the sale price of your home.
- Projects like building a porch, bathroom or pool can add significant value, so you may need to adjust your policy if you’re planning to renovate your new home. Upgrades (like a new roof) can lead to discounts if they mitigate risks.
- Ninety percent of natural disasters result in some form of flooding – that’s a risk insurers just don’t want to take. You can obtain a separate flood insurance policy through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
- Residents in earthquake-prone areas might also want to supplement their standard policy with earthquake coverage.
Many owners make a photo or video record of their home and possessions and then keep the records in a safety deposit box. This can be very valuable in the event of loss due to theft or fire. Insurance may be costly, but protecting this large investment is worth it – and the peace of mind.