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Homeowners’ Insurance

Protecting what protects you.

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Spotlight on: Homeowners’ Insurance

A home is one of the most significant purchase decisions most people make in their lifetime.

From a place to make family memories to your personal sanctuary and shelter from a storm, your home is invaluable.

There’s a high likelihood that your home will at some point suffer damage or loss, and the last thing you want is a repair bill you can’t afford.

Homeowners’ insurance may be the best investment you can make as a homeowner.

Why Higginbotham?

Because we offer more than homeowners’ insurance; we offer peace of mind.

By providing expert guidance so you get the most from your insurance dollars without sacrificing top quality benefits, our people work hard to understand your priorities and continually exceed your expectations.

Grounded in your priorities and elevated in your opportunities, our transparent and authentic approach to homeowners’ insurance gets the coverage you need at a price that makes sense for you.

 

Need a partner in finding homeowners insurance? We’re here to help.

Designing an effective insurance plan can be daunting. We’re on your side. With our nationwide network of providers, we’ll find the custom coverage you need.

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How does homeowners’ insurance work?

If you own a house, condo, apartment, duplex or another residential property, you need homeowner’s insurance.

Along with protecting your home, this essential coverage can also help protect your personal property and other possessions from damage or loss.

Homeowners’ insurance is so vital that most mortgage lenders require borrowers to carry a policy.

Even if you own your home outright or are not required to carry homeowners’ insurance by your mortgage company, purchasing this protection is almost always a wise investment.

What’s covered by a homeowners’ policy?

Along with your house’s physical structure and the land it sits on, a homeowners’ policy can help repair or replace valuable assets stored within a home or on the property.

From the tools in your shed to the electronics in your living room, homeowners’ insurance can help protect the things that make a house a home.

While the protection provided by each homeowners’ insurance policy will vary based on the specifics in the policy documents, most policies can provide these safeguards.

Family Heirlooms and Keepsakes

Jewelry

Collectibles

Coin Collections

Memorabilia

Vinyl

Books

Hobby Equipment

Cameras and Photography Gear

Musical Instruments

Firearms

Home and Lawn

Clothing

Appliances

Lawn Equipment

Electronics

Furniture

This list isn’t exclusive, and some homeowners’ policies may have exclusions for certain items.

Examples of Covered Perils

While policy specifics will vary depending on your insurance carrier’s requirements, here are some examples of covered perils.

Accidents and Vandalism

  • Car Accidents on Property
  • Acts of Vandalism
  • Riots

Third-Party Personal Injuries

  • Lacerations
  • Slips and Falls
  • Drowning

Crime

  • Robbery
  • Petty Theft
  • Burglary

Acts of Nature*

  • Freezing Damage
  • Snow or Ice Damage
  • Lightning Damage
  • Wind Damage
  • Hail Damage
  • Fire Damage

*While damage caused by an act of nature can be eligible for a claim, damage caused by natural disasters like floods are almost always excluded.

Other Covered Perils

  • Water Damage Caused by HVAC or Plumbing System
  • Smoke Damage
  • Power Surges
  • Roof Leaks

Common Home Insurance Coverage Exclusions

Though a homeowners’ policy can offer relatively broad protection against a large assortment of perils, there are a few threats that are almost always excluded from coverage. Most natural disasters and other “acts of God” require separate specialty coverage.

Here are some common exclusions on a homeowners’ policy.

Natural Disasters

  • Flood Damage
  • Earthquake Damage
  • Damage from Mudslides
  • Foundation Damage from Settling
  • Rodent or Insect Infestation

Damage to Business Property

  • Work Equipment
  • Commercial Office Space
  • Business Inventory

Equipment Breakdown

  • Damage Caused by Improper Maintenance
  • Failure Resulting from Wear and Tear

Covered Losses Away from Home

Unbeknownst to some, a home insurance policy can also often help protect your assets and property while you’re traveling or spending time away from home.

While the coverage provided by each policy will vary, most policies can also be tailored to protect the personal possessions and valuables you take with you on a trip. From your wedding ring to your laptop, homeowners’ insurance can give you peace of mind that your valuables are protected.

These policies can even extend coverage to passports and other important documents in some cases.

Homeowners’ Policy Riders

While many homeowners can secure adequate replacement cost coverage with a standard policy, there are certain scenarios in which those policies could fall short.

Most insurance carriers will cover lost, damaged or stolen property between 50-70 percent of the total coverage on an insured home’s structure. For example, a policy on a house with $400,000 of structural coverage would typically cover property and other assets stored within up to a limit between $200,000 and $280,000.

With this in mind, people with fine art collections, antiques, designer clothing or other high-value property would be wise to consider a rider or separate valuable articles policy to avoid a potential coverage gap.

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Different Types of Homeowners’ Coverage

While coverage availability will vary based on your geographical location and risk exposure, most insurance carriers offer three homeowners’ coverage options.

Cash Value

Often the most affordable option available, a cash value policy covers the physical value of a house and the depreciated value of belongings stored on the property.

Replacement Cost

Like a cash value policy, albeit with compensation for depreciation, a replacement value policy covers both a house’s actual cash value and the possessions contained within. Unlike a cash value policy that bases coverage limits on depreciated value, a replacement cost policy extends coverage based on the current retail price of everything being covered.

Guaranteed (Extended) Replacement Cost/Value

Generally regarded as the most comprehensive coverage option available to homeowners, a guaranteed replacement cost policy offers the same coverage as a standard replacement cost policy with an additional 20-25 percent buffer to compensate for the effects of inflation.

Considering the risk of another policy falling short of covering the cost of a rebuild after a total loss, the general consensus among insurance professionals leans toward recommending guaranteed replacement cost options. That said, there are several important factors to consider when selecting a policy and the coverage that makes the most sense for your situation.

How much does a homeowners’ policy cost?

It’s difficult to quote an exact premium price without first learning about your unique situation and needs.

Regardless of your property value, location and desired coverage, Higginbotham is committed to getting you the protection you need at a price that makes sense for your budget.

The cost of an insurance policy for a homeowner depends heavily on several factors, like:

Property Value

Coverage Amount Desired

Geographical Location

Risk Exposure

Loss History

How to Save Money on Your Homeowners’ Insurance Policy

If you’re interested in getting a homeowners’ insurance quote, but aren’t sure you can afford the premium payments, there are a few strategies you can use to help control your cost.

Installing a Home Security System

Investing in a burglar alarm can pay dividends well beyond the value of added security for you and your family.

In fact, if you install a system that’s monitored by a central station or connected to your local police, it can end up earning you a premium discount of five percent or more.

To qualify for this discount, you’ll need to provide your insurance carrier with proof in the form of a bill or contract.

Installing Smoke and CO2 Detectors

Like home security systems, smoke and carbon dioxide detectors can considerably reduce your risk.

Installing these devices on a home that didn’t previously have them can earn you a healthy discount on your premiums.

Increasing Your Deductible

Though we typically advise our clients to use this cost savings strategy as a last resort, increasing the deductible on your policy can net some considerable savings on your premium payments.

However, because a higher deductible can create an increased risk of incurring a substantial out-of-pocket expense, it’s wise to make sure you have the cash reserves to cover your financial responsibility for a claim before deciding to increase yours.

Ask Your Broker About Multiple Policy Discounts

Often the easiest way to save money on your homeowners’ insurance is by bundling your policy with your auto and other personal coverages.

Whether you’re a current Higginbotham client looking to add another line of coverage or someone looking to explore your options, our personal insurance specialists are here to help.

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Not sure where to start? Talk to someone who wants to listen.

A great plan starts with a conversation. Let’s talk about what you need.

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