Buying your first home can be a very exciting event, but much has to be done before the deal closes and you get the keys. One of the more important things you will have to deal with is purchasing homeowners insurance to protect your new home as well as your belongings. If you're shopping for homeowners insurance for the first time, use the following tips:
Don't Buy a Bigger Policy than You Need
When shopping for homeowners insurance, it is important to buy a policy that will cover the cost of rebuilding your home should it be completely destroyed. Do not confuse the market value of your home with the actual cost to rebuild-- the market value of your home is most likely higher than the rebuilding cost, and you will pay more for insurance if you buy a policy based on your home's market value.
Create an Inventory of Your Belongings
Before purchasing a homeowners insurance policy, you need to take an inventory of your belongings so you can assess their value. It is a good idea to create a spreadsheet of everything of value that you own. If possible, try to take photos of everything and collect any receipts that you have from large purchases, such as electronics or furniture. Don't forget to include photos and information about any expensive jewelry that you may own, such as a diamond engagement ring. This information will help you determine how large of a policy to buy, and it will prove to be very valuable if you ever need to make a claim if your belongings are stolen or damaged.
Get several Insurance Quotes
Just like any other type of insurance, premiums for homeowners insurance can vary greatly from one company to another. It is in your best interest to get several quotes (from outlets such as McHugh Insurance) before buying a homeowners insurance policy to ensure that you get the best deal possible.
Understand What Your Policy Covers
It is very important that you understand exactly what your homeowner's insurance covers, so take the time to read through all of the documents that the insurance company sends you. In many cases, a standard homeowners insurance policy does not provide coverage for damage caused by earthquakes or flooding due to storms. If you live in an area that is prone to earthquakes or severe flooding you may want to consider purchasing a separate insurance policy to provide coverage for your home in the event that they are damaged by these types of natural disasters.