Getting ready to buy a Fort Collins CO home? It is important to shop for homeowners insurance and find an insurance agent who can have your policy ready to take to your lender. When shopping for homeowners insurance, it is helpful to review at least four policies and compare them.
Areas of the policies you will want to compare
Some policies protect against 16 perils, or disasters that may befall your home. Other policies cover all perils except those named in the policy as exclusions.
This is your out of pocket expense for damage to your home. The lower the deductible, the more expensive your policy will be. Yet, when disaster strikes, many people wish they had paid a few more dollars a month to keep from having a huge $500 or $1,000 bill for repairs.
· Liability Coverage
This is the money your policy will pay if someone is hurt on your property due to negligence for their medical bills or your legal bills if you are sued.
· Personal Property
This includes your home furnishings and personal items such as clothing and jewelry.
· Replacement Cost
This covers all replacement costs of your home and personal property. If you opt for this coverage, make sure the dollar amount is high enough to cover everything.
· Actual Cash Value
This kind of policy gives you the value of your home and possessions less depreciation.
· Emergency Living Expense
If you are unable to live in your home after a disaster, you will need living expenses.
These are addendums you can attach to your policy to cover specific items, such as antique jewelry, art and antiques. To ensure that all your jewelry is covered, it is best to get an appraisal and have a rider for replacement costs added to your policy.
What your policy will likely not cover
Many policies exclude coverage for acts of nature such as sinkholes, landslides, or earthquakes. Many policies also exclude coverage for the following:
· Nuclear bombs
· Bad workmanship in repairs
· Power failures
· Improper zoning
· Maintenance not done
· Tornadoes and hurricanes in high risk areas
What you can do to reduce your insurance premiums
There are a few things that insurance companies will use to reduce your insurance premiums:
· Install an alarm system (15-20% reduction in premium)
· Install deadbolts on outer doors (5% reduction in premium)
· Put in smoke detectors
· Put a locked, gated fence around your pool
· Use a pool cover in winter
You can also save on your premiums by placing your homeowners insurance with the same company that handles your auto insurance.
How to compare insurance companies and how well they handle claims
ConsumerAffairs.com is a wonderful place to compare homeowners insurance companies. According to them, A.M. Best, J.D. Power & Associates, and Standard & Poors rate insurance companies on how financially stable they are and whether they are liked by their customers. Ratings of 90 or greater are good scores, especially when their customers indicate they are pleased with coverage and service.
ConsumerAffairs.com also offers an opportunity from their web site for you to get quotes from several major homeowners insurance companies. Your C3 agent and our amazing concierge service can show you other ways to do homeowners insurance shopping comparisons.