When you go shopping around for a homeowners insurance policy there are a lot of things you need to look into. If you’re a savvy shopper you probably already looked into your home’s history and any past home insurance claims that previous owners have filed. This is a great way to identify potential problem areas with the house after you buy it and make sure you’re never left holding the bag (and paying the insurance) for things the seller didn’t bother to tell you about.
What you might not know is that along with checking out your home’s history before you buy you also want to take some time to check out your area’s geology. Names, what geological disasters have struck on a fairly regular basis! Why? Well, it’s going to have an effect on your homeowners insurance rates. High risk areas inevitably pay more for their insurance coverage than those in other areas.
More importantly, however, you need to know so you can make sure your homeowners insurance policy is up to snuff.
When you go shopping for a home insurance policy you’re going to have a couple of choices. The most pertinent of these is whether you want a “named perils” policy or an “all perils” policy. A named perils policy will cover only those perils specifically listed in your policy-and you’d better believe your insurer is going to spell them out to the letter! An all perils policy, on the other hand, covers every peril except the ones your policy spells out.
What most people don’t notice is that their homeowners insurance policy is usually pretty specific about what it’s not going to cover. Floods are one of those things. Earthquakes and windstorms are another. And mine subsidence. Not surprisingly, these are things that can happen anywhere, anytime and for any reason. Hundreds of victims after Hurricane Katrina found out that their homeowners insurance claims were denied-their all perils policy didn’t cover floods or windstorms. You don’t want this to be you.
Before you buy your homeowners insurance policy, check out your area’s geological history. Has there been flooding? (This is important if you live at the bottom of the hills.) Are earthquakes common? How about tornadoes? If any of these things are common in your area you could easily find yourself a victim, which means you want to make sure your home insurance policy is going to cover your claims.
Earthquake and windstorm insurance can often be added on to your home insurance policy for an extra cost; however, if you live in a high risk area you may find yourself having to go to another agency for coverage. The same goes for flood insurance and mine subsidence. The Texas Windstorm Insurance Agency and the National Flood Insurance Program are two governmentally organized programs that specialize in helping high risk homeowners find the insurance coverage they deserve.
The last thing you want is to find yourself holding the bag on thousands of dollars in repairs your home insurance coverage won’t touch, so make sure you do your homework first and buy the homeowners insurance policy your home deserves.
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