Which Homeowners Policy is Right For Me?

What kind of home? You may not be looking at the correct article. This is the right place if…

You own a home (free standing, not rented, not a mobile home i.e.: the home is permanently attached to and part of the foundation).

Or,

You own a town-home (not a condominium or co-op or time share). Perhaps this town home is attached to another residence, perhaps not. I own the land that this town home sits on, but I am part of a town-home community)


This is not the right place if…

See "I own or rent a trailer, manufactured housing, or double-wide..."

See Condominium or Co-op? Your Insurance Needs are Different


You will need to go elsewhere after reading this article if…

I Own a Time-Share in Addition to Having Another Residence...


NOW! You own a home...

Many companies have either their own Homeowners policy form or have endorsements to standard policy forms that help distinguish them from the competition. Some companies like new, high-valued homes, some companies do well with older or historic preservation homes. Others are comfortable with country homes or old farm homes and some don't like the city. It pays to shop around, both for the best coverage and for a company who likes homes in your area.

Find a company that wants to insure your home. If the company and agency already has a customer base in your area, consider them first. They understand how to insure homes like yours. This agency or company may not always have the cheapest policy, but they may have the best combination of coverage, price, service and claims expertise for your particular needs.


Two Types of Coverage: Named Causes of Loss or Risks of Physical Loss

Many companies offer risks of physical loss coverage for your buildings and named causes of loss coverage for your "stuff". Other companies will offer risks of physical loss coverage for virtually all of your covered property. Risks of physical loss costs more, but here are some claims that would not be covered under named causes of loss policies:

The policy name for risks of physical loss coverage for buildings is often referred to as Homeowners form 3. To add risks of physical loss to personal property under form 3, you must have the Homeowners 15 endorsement. Some companies sell a Homeowners form 5 which does the same thing as the combined Homeowners 3 plus the Homeowners 15 endorsement. Other companies have their own risks of physical loss forms they call Special, Gold, Executive etc. Not everyone will qualify for risks of physical loss, but most companies sell the coverage.

NOTE: Your state may have restrictions or natural disaster cause of loss problems. Coastal states face wind problems. California, and certain Midwestern areas have severe earthquake problems. Some Western states have brush fire problems. Other areas face hail damage. Each state and company has its own rates and philosophy on how it will insure these common causes of loss. Check around.


Policies that are considered named causes of loss forms are the Homeowners 1 (not sold much any more), the Homeowners 2 and the special use Homeowners 8 forms

Homeowners 8


Basic Homeowners coverages common to all homeowners form that insure both the home and personal property… Cutting costs

Deductibles save money. Combine your auto and home insurance with the same company. Many companies offer discounts on both auto and home when you insure them together (not available in all states). Some companies offer combination auto/home policies which usually provide superior coverage at a lower price than if you were to cobble all the coverages together using many policies (not available in all states).


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