What to expect on South Florida home insurance

What to expect on South Florida home insurance

Known as the sunshine state, South Florida home insurance is something else. The state has one of the highest homeowner’s insurance rates with an average of $2,000 more than twice the national average. Despite the other benefits associated with South Florida such as the good weather, low property taxes and no income tax, most homeowners are finding it difficult to sustain their homes due to the high levels of home insurance.

When purchasing South Florida home insurance, it is important to ensure that you are covered for the perils that are likely to take place. Do not jeopardize your coverage for the low rates because you may end up spending money if a disaster occurs. For instance, if you take a policy without windstorm coverage, when it strikes, you will end up getting money from your pocket to finance or repair your home. However, you can still get lower rates and at the best coverage by shopping around and comparing different insurers.

What is causing the high insurance rates?

Various factors determine the insurance rates, such as the value of the home, the location, levels of crime and disasters that are likely to occur. In the case of South Florida, the biggest contributor is its proximity to the coastal line. This puts it at risk of extreme weather conditions such as windstorms and hurricanes. Some of the causes of high rates of South Florida home insurance are:

•    Water damage

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Tips for using Homeowners insurance Indiana

Tips for using Homeowners insurance Indiana

If you own a home in Indiana, it means that you should take advantage of the homeowners insurance Indiana. This is because you need to protect your home against disasters such as windstorms, tornadoes, hail damage, fire and lightning among others. You can take the most common standard homeowners insurance which covers on most perils in addition to providing coverage for personal belongings and personal liability. This way, you will be cushioned against losses in case a disaster occurs. However, you should also note that some disasters are not protected by the policy such as damage due to floods, earthquakes and nuclear events. Although the state has its share of disasters, its average premium is less than the national average.

Disasters in Indiana

•    Tornados
In the case of Indiana, the most common disaster is tornadoes. To protect the homeowners against this, the standard homeowners insurance Indiana includes it. This means that if a tornado occurs, your home insurer will pay depending with your amount of coverage.
•    Flooding
Flooding in the state comes from the heavy rains in spring and snowmelt. It is therefore advisable for those living in flood prone area to take an additional cover on flooding because the standard homeowners insurance does not cover it. The flood insurance is federal backed by National Flood Insurance Program.
•    Earthquakes
Earthquakes are not included in the standard insurance but it can be included as an additional coverage for extra cost. They also occur in the state with the largest of 5.1 magnitudes having taken place in 1909.
•    Winter weather
During winter, some of the problems that may be experienced include roofs collapsing due to snow, frozen pipes, cracked foundations, damaged shingles and gutters. The good news is that your policy can help in covering the cost of repair such as damage to the roof, electrical wiring, and plumbing and on your personal belongings.
•    Thunderstorms
Thunderstorms come with hail, lightning and high winds. Lightning can cause electrical surges, which can damage electronics. It can also start fires. High winds can fell tress and branches causing damage to the home. Hail can damage windows and roofing.
A standard home insurance provides coverage for damage caused by the lightning, winds and hail. It covers the cost of repair caused by these elements.
•    Wildfires
Your homeowners insurance Indiana covers the cost of repairs to your home and personal possessions due to damage caused by wildfires.

Shopping for home insurance in Indiana

You should shop around for the best home insurance company to ensure you get the best coverage at affordable premiums. This could save you money in addition to getting a company that has coverage that meets your needs. One of the easiest methods to find a good insurer is using online quotes. By using comparison websites you can compare different insurers and end up with the best, all this at your own comfort. You can also save money by bundling your insurance needs to one insurer and by raising your deductible. You may also get discounts because of installing a security system in your home, using smoke detectors and using roofing materials that are fire retardant.

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How to ensure your home insurance policy insures your home to value

How to ensure your home insurance policy insures your home to value

Every home owner takes a home insurance policy anticipating the insurer to make payments for repairs or replacements when the disaster strikes. However, most homeowners insure their homes for their mortgage value or the value of the home. This value is usually less than what it would cost to rebuild the home. If a disaster strikes, the insurer only pays part of the cost of replacing or repairing the damaged items. This may leave you to cater for the rest of the cost. If you have insured your home using the replacement value, the insurer pays for complete repair or rebuilding of the home. Below are some of the tips you can use to ensure that your home insurance policy insures your home to value.

•    Have an estimate of the rebuilding cost of your home. You can get this by multiplying the cost of building each square foot by the square footage of the house. You can get the building rates in the area by consulting the association of local builders or reputable builders your area. Your insurer or representative of the company may also know about the costs.

•    Know the factors that determine the rebuilding cost- there are various factors that determine the cost of rebuilding such as the costs of construction, the size in square footage and materials used to construct the wall such as frame, veneer or masonry. Others include the house style if it is colonial, ranch or contemporary, number of bathrooms and rooms, roof type, garages that are attached, fireplaces and special features. If your home has special features, more square footage and construction using expensive materials, then the rebuilding cost will be high.

•    Reevaluate your policy- make sure that each year you check your policy’s value against the rising local cost of building. This will ensure that you have enough insurance to cover the cost of rebuilding in case a disaster occurs. You should also check with your insurer if there is a clause for inflation guard. This adjusts the insured limit automatically when renewing the policy to give a reflection of the present costs of construction in the area. Make sure you keep yourself updated with the building costs.

•    Know about the latest local building codes- building codes provide the minimum standards in which homes should be constructed. A completely damaged home may require the rebuilding to comply with new standards by changing the design or materials for building. This can result to more costs. Familiarize yourself with the building codes and ensure that your insurance coverage is enough to cover the cost.

•    Do not use the market value to insure- the market value is different from the cost of rebuilding. It could be higher or lower. You should also not cover your home based on your mortgage value.

•    Include improvements- if you improve your home or make additions, ensure that you advise the insurer to adjust your limits to reflect the increased value of your home.

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What is and what is not covered by homeowners insurance policy

What is and what is not covered by homeowners insurance policy

When taking a homeowners insurance policy, it is important to know what it covers and what it does not cover. Various types of home insurance policies exist and they range from the basic ones that only cover the structures to comprehensive ones. The standard homeowners policy covers for damage from fire, lightning, vandalism, hail and windstorms. Below is the coverage provided by standard homeowners insurance policy?

What it covers

•    Coverage for dwellings – this pays for the rebuilding and repairing of the home structure that you live in and other attached structures such as the garage after loss due to an insured damage. It also includes repairing or rebuilding of plumbing, electrical wiring, air conditioning and heating.

•     Coverage of other structures – this is for damages on detached structures such as sheds, cottages, fences and garages.

•    Coverage on personal property- it covers for the loss of personal items such as furniture, clothes, electronics and sporting goods due to a covered peril.

•    Coverage on loss of use- provides payment for living expense and housing if your home is damaged and uninhabitable due to an insured loss.

•    Liability coverage - provides coverage when a visitor is injured when on your property. It pays for an attorney, medical bills and damages.

What the homeowners insurance policy does not cover

Despite the coverage that the standard homeowners insurance provides, there is some exclusion that is not covered. They include:

•    Floods and hurricanes- though damage from strong rainstorm may be covered, the insurance does not cover floods and hurricanes. In case you live in areas that are prone to these kinds of disasters, you can take additional coverage on your policy.

•    Sinkholes and earthquakes- these earth movements are beyond any human control. Unfortunately, the standard home insurance does not cover for the damage they cause. Coverage for these disasters will require purchasing of an additional coverage, and it is recommended if you live in areas that are prone.

•    Maintenance of home- in as much as you try to maintain your systems, a pipe ends up bursting or termites infest your home. Some of these problems may also escalate and result to serious damage that will require expensive repairs. The homeowners insurance does not cover these costs. For instance, a burst pipe may cause mold in your home and this can result to costly repairs. You insurer will not pay for this. That is why you should take good care and be observant for such mishaps.

•    Coverage limits- most policies provide coverage up to a particular limit. For instance in personal belongings such valuables, the limit could be $1,000. If your valuables are stolen and their amount is greater than the limit, the insurer does not pay for it. You should therefore request for additional coverage at an added cost from the insurer if you have expensive items whose value is greater than the insured limit. Some of these valuables include jewelry, gold, heirlooms and fur coats among others.

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Characteristics of top home insurance companies

Characteristics of top home insurance companies

You should protect your home against damage using the top home insurance companies. Some of the damage is due to disasters such as fire, windstorm and other natural disasters or loss due theft and vandalism. Taking homeowners insurance ensures that the home is covered against these losses and you will not end up suffering losses in case these catastrophes take place.
However, when choosing an insurance company, you should make sure that it is one of the top home insurance companies. This way you will get the best service and it will be available for you when you are in need. Some of the characteristics to look out for should be in areas such as customer satisfaction, financial strength of the company, price of its policy and the service it provides on claims.

Customer satisfaction and service

A company with high rating on customer satisfaction means that it meets its customers’ needs. If a customer has a problem in billing, making claims, changing the policy or any other problem associated with home insurance, the company provides prompt response. The company should respond whether the customer makes contact by telephone or using the website.

The value of the policy and price

Top home insurance companies provide value for money. Their policy should provide you with the coverage that you need and at an affordable price. They respect that your money is hard earned and you want to get the best value for it.

Good ratings on financial strength

Financial strength is important in a good home insurance company. This is because the strength portrays the company’s ability to meet its financial obligations and to make payments on claims. It is also a sign that the company will be available to assist you in the event a disaster strikes.

Services on claims

The time of making a claim is the most stressful because someone has just experienced loss. The policyholder needs a lot of support during this time. A good company should provide claims service that is effective by being there on each step of making a claim. This is by helping in the process of claims filing, sending an adjuster to come and look at the damage on the property and repairing your home where it has been damaged. It should also pay claims promptly without much delay. This will ensure that you recover from the loss without additional stress from the insurer.

These and more are some of the characteristics you should look for in top home insurance companies and on the company you intend to use. You should ensure that you choose an insuring company wisely. Assess your needs and your situation in determining the insurance company that is right for your insurance needs. Before choosing one company, do a comparison on different companies and choose the one with the best ratings on customer satisfaction, financial strength, policy pricing and on claims service. This will ensure that you will get the best value for your money.

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