The Facts about Idaho Home Insurance
Residents of Coeur d'Alene and Post Falls, Idaho, are now able to compare home insurance quotes online with the help of an independent agency like Landers Insurance. As a result, home owners are flocking to this tool in hopes of saving time and money in the traditionally-involved home insurance search.
Before beginning such a search, it is important for owners to familiarize themselves with the types of policies that are available:
- HO-1: Covers 10 basic perils
- HO-2: Covers 16 basic perils
- HO-3: Covers all perils unless specifically noted
- HO-4: Renters policy
- HO-6: Policy that protects locations like co-ops and condominiums, typically paid by the owner's association
- HO-8: Older homes are protected with this policy
Basic perils found on common policies include theft, water and fire damages, as well as other typical protection. It is important to note that special perils, such as natural disasters, can always be added to a policy for enhanced coverage in Coeur d'Alene & Post Falls.
Once the insurance process is ready to begin, consumers should first identify what level of coverage is desired. Several factors, such as the level amount for possessions, will play a large role in the quote. Ideally, owners should aim to balance their property coverage expectations with what is best for their budget – either extreme can be dangerous.
Renters and owners can then prepare to compare quotes. Using an independent agency like Landers Insurance can result in the best process possible, due to the ability to see quotes from major insurance companies at once. Also, buyers can rely on the experience and expertise of an independency for assistance during the process.
Securing a great homeowners insurance policy is not that difficult. With a solid understanding of home insurance policies and a great agency on one’s side, owners and renters can save time and money during the search for a great insurance policy.
Home Owners Insurance Basics
When shopping for home insurance, remember this: Insure your house for the cost to replace it (i.e. construction costs), not its "market value, and don't factor in the value of your land.
Homeowners insurance is very important and is more complicated then auto insurance because home polices have so many more endorsements and extra coverages that you can add. The very first thing you need to do is calculate the correct replacement cost of your home. A lot of people think that the replacement cost is the "market value", but it is not. Make sure to have your insurance agent run a detailed RCE to get the correct amount.
Other structures coverage is almost always set at a standard 10% limit of your dwelling replacement cost. So if you have a home that is insured up to $500,000 your coverage B (other structures) would be $50,000. Just remember if you have nice detached garage you probably going to want to increase your coverage B amount.
Coverage C is Personal property. This is another percentage limit of your dwelling replacement cost. This can vary from company to company. Most companies set this standard limit to 70%. So in the example above you would have a personal property insurance limit of $350,000. One important fact to know is that your personal property is insured at actual cash value unless specified on the policy. Always make sure that you have the personal replacement cost endorsement on your policy. Otherwise you are at the mercy of the adjuster to determine how much that 65' TV is worth now…
The next coverage is called Loss of Use. This covers you in the event your home burns down or is uninhabitable and you have to rent an apartment or stay in a hotel. This coverage is covered in two different ways. Some companies insure it as a limit of coverage A. Other companies state the limit as: actual loss sustained up to 24 months. Loss of use coverage with the latter is better since it provides you with more security.
Personal liability coverage is similar across all carriers. The liability limit ranges from $100,000 to one million. The standard limit is $300,000. The coverage protects you from incidents that happen on your premises where someone is trying to sue you. For example, if someone slips and falls on your sidewalk and sues you for $250,000 you would be covered.
The last major coverage is medical payments. This is also known as guest medical. This coverage covers your guests in case they are injured on your premises. It is very rare to have a medical payments claim on your homeowners insurance. But that does not mean you don't need it.
Another factor you need to consider when shopping for homeowners insurance is your deductible amount. Most people go with the standard $500 deductible. Over the long term it is better to go with a $1000 or higher homeowners' insurance deductible. You will save more money in the long run and you don't want to be making small claims on your homeowners insurance since they stay on your record for up to five years.
Remember when you are going over a home insurance quote with an agent make sure to double check you are getting all the discounts possible. There is an extensive amount of discounts homeowners insurance companies offer. Here are just a few: smoke detectors (hardwired offers more of a discount), fire and burglar alarm (central alarm systems like ADT offer more of a discount), fire extinguishers, deadbolts, gated community, sprinkler systems, green home discounts, and many more.
Almost all homeowners insurance policies are written on a special form also known as an HO3. This means that your home is covered for all perils except the ones that are specifically listed and excluded from the policy. Perils that are not covered under most homeowners insurance policies include flood, earthquake, and wear & tear.