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Compare homeowners insurance

Protect your most valuable asset with home insurance.

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This online marketplace does most of the work for you, matching you with quotes from 12 highly rated home insurers.

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Invest in affordable insurance that protects your home and your property from damage no matter where you live.

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What does homeowners insurance cover?

A homeowners insurance policy will safeguard your house in case of unforeseen events like fire, burglary or natural disaster.

A typical homeowners policy covers both the dwelling itself and your personal belongings within the home. You’ll also typically get coverage for other structures on your property, like a free-standing garage or shed, plus loss of use coverage, which pays for you to stay in a hotel while your home is being repaired. Most policies also cover your liability if someone is injured while on your property. At a bare minimum, make sure your policy includes those four types of coverage.

The building
Your belongings
Liability
Additional living expenses

What are the types of homeowners insurance?

Homeowners insurance policies are broken down into three main categories, with each policy covering damage caused by different types of events or disasters — referred to as “perils” in insurance-speak.

Homeowners 1 (HO-1)

This is the most basic policy and offers limited coverage; it usually doesn’t cover your personal items within the home. Because of its limited coverage, it is not available in most states. It provides coverage for only the perils that are named in the policy, which typically include:

  • Fire or lightning
  • Windstorm or hail
  • Explosion
  • Riot or civil commotion
  • Damage caused by aircraft
  • Smoke
  • Vandalism or malicious mischief
  • Theft
  • Volcanic eruption

Homeowners 2 (HO-2)

HO-2 is a step up from HO-1, offering more coverage, usually including your belongings and liability. But it is stilled a named-perils policy, meaning it only covers the perils specifically named in the policy. It includes all of the perils under HO-1, plus the addition of these:

  • Falling object
  • Weight of ice, snow or sleet
  • Water damage from burst pipes or similar event
  • Sudden, accidental cracking, burning or bulging of hot water or similar system
  • Freezing of plumbing or similar househeld system
  • Sudden, accidental damage from artificially generated electrical current

Homeowners 3 (HO-3)

Sometimes referred to as the “deluxe” policy by home insurance providers, HO-3 is an open-perils policy. An open-perils policy will include coverage for all perils except those specifically noted in the policy. Most mortgage providers require a minimum of HO-3 coverage.

Can I get insurance for an older or non-standard home?

In addition to the three main home insurance policies, you can also purchase a policy for non-standard home types.

Older home
Historic home
Condo
Mobile home
Tiny house
Rental house

What add-ons can I get for my home insurance policy?

Perils typically not covered in a homeowners insurance policy include: a flood, an earthquake, sewer backup, or normal wear and tear or maintenance to the home. However, additional coverage can be purchased to protect against these occurrences.

Additions to your home insurance policy are referred to as “floaters,” “riders” or “endorsements.” These can include flood insurance, earthquake insurance, floater policies for valuable items like furs and jewelry, and an umbrella liability policy. We’ll discuss endorsements in further detail later in the guide. Here is what is typically excluded from most standard policies:

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What’s the difference between actual cash value and replacement cost?

In addition to choosing what your policy covers and under which circumstances, you will also need to choose your level of coverage. It can greatly affect how much you will be paid to repair your home and replace items that may have been damaged.

Actual cash value

Covers damages minus any depreciation in value of your home or its possessions. For example, with actual cash value, if your computer is damaged by a covered peril, your insurance provider will pay for what your computer is worth today, not how much it would cost to purchase a brand new one.

Replacement cost

This type of policy covers damages caused by a covered peril without factoring in depreciation. Using the damaged laptop example, with replacement cost, your insurance provider will cover the cost to purchase a brand new computer.

Guaranteed or extended replacement cost

This policy offers the most protection because it will cover the costs of damages even if it exceeds your policy’s limit. Using the laptop example, you might agree to a value your laptop is worth. If it’s damaged, you’d be reimbursed for that full value regardless of hitting your coverage maximum.

Actual cash value vs Replacement Cost

2 years ago

You buy a TV for $500


Currently

Your TV is worth $200 due to depreciation and newer models on the market


Today

Your TV catches fire and you lose the entire appliance

Actual cash value

Based on depreciation value, your insurer will pay for what the TV is worth today so you will be receiving only $100 for your appliance

Replacement cost

Since this policy won’t take depreciation into account, you will be receiving what you paid for your TV 2 years ago so you will receive a grand total of $500

How to decide on actual cost vs replacement cost

  • How much is your home worth? Keep in mind te real estate value of your home is not the same amount as what it would cost to rebuild your home. Don’t include the cost of your land when determining your coverage.
  • How much would it cost to rebuild your home with today’s standards? It might cost more today to rebuild or repair your home than when it was originally constructed. This is especially true after a natural disaster like a hurricane, when supplies and labor are in high demand.
  • How much would your house need to be updated? If building codes have been updated since your house was built, this may also cause the cost to reconstruct your home to be more expensive today.

How much is a home insurance deductible?

The deductible is how much you must pay toward repairing your home or replacing any belongings that are damaged. You will have to pay a deductible each time you file a claim. Deductibles can either be a set amount or a percentage, but are usually a predetermined amount. The average deductible is $500-$1,000.

The deductible for your policy is determined when you purchase your insurance policy. A higher deductible results in a lower premium. But make sure your deductible is low enough that you can afford to pay it if you need to repair damage to your home that is covered by your policy. Your mortgage company also might put a limit on how high your deductible can be.

Case study: deductibles

When Jess purchased her home she wanted to get the least expensive home insurance she could find. So she opted for the highest deductible her mortgage company would allow, which was $1,500. Soon after moving into her home, a hail storm caused severe damage to her roof and needed to be completely replaced. She filed a claim with her insurance provider and got an estimate for the roof. The cost of a new roof would be $8,850. But because her deductible was $1,500, her insurance company cut her a check for $7,350. Jess had to cover $1,500 of the cost to replace her roof.

How can I save on homeowners insurance?

There are many ways to lower your costs.

How can I prevent the most common home insurance claims?

Water, storm damage and theft are three of the most common insurance claims. Be proactive and minimize the risks to your home.

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Water damage

It might come as a surprise to learn that most water damage is not caused by weather, but by burst pipes and other plumbing problems.

  • Regularly check pipes for leaks. Avoid flushing foreign objects down toilets and make sure you address any signs of a leak as soon as possible, because even a small leak can cause an exponentially growing amount of damage over time.
  • Keep an eye out for mildew and mold, and try to scrub it away as soon as possible. It can also be a sign of internal water damage. If mold keeps appearing in a well ventilated room, it could be a leak that is not visible. Ignoring these issues can count as a failure to adequately maintain the home, which can be used to reject insurance claims.
  • If you live in a colder climate, insulating your pipes will help to prevent them from bursting.
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Wind and hail damage

An increasingly common cause of damage and source of insurance claims, it makes sense to take steps to ensure your home is protected from storm damage.

  • Check your roof for loose shingles and make any necessary repairs.
  • Protect your windows. If you live in an area that’s prone to storms, it might be worth investing in storm shutters and impact-resistant windows.
  • Durable siding and impact-resistant shingles will also help to protect your home from hail.
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Theft

No one wants to think that this might happen to them, but unfortunately it is all too common. Take steps to prevent a break-in at your home.

  • Check all entry points to your home and make any necessary repairs, like loose hinges or faulty locks.
  • Installing a home security system will deter would-be thieves.
  • Although it’s convenient when you find yourself in a bind, don’t hide a spare key outside your house. Criminals are well aware of this practice. Instead, consider giving a trusted neighbor a key to your home.
  • Exterior lighting is a cost-effective deterrent to thieves.

Common questions about home insurance

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