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Vermont Home Insurance

A substantial portion of budgets for individuals and families is insurance on the home. This insurance protects your financial investment in the home. Mortgage companies require this coverage to protect the collateral securing the loan they made to purchase the property. Home insurance allows a bit of certainty in this less-than-perfect world so it protects more than finances.

Purchasing adequate home insurance requires a detailed process that is relatively easy. The links and information here will help you acquire quotations for home insurance that will give you choices in the marketplace.

Be sure to consult your insurance broker or agent at the end of the process to assure yourself that you have dealt with unforeseeable contingencies.

Saving Money on Home Insurance

A number of ways of saving on home insurance exist, and some of them are:

  • Comparison shop among companies
  • Increase your deductible – but be certain you can afford it
  • Value your home correctly – the cost of the home on the real estate market is not the insurable value of the building since that cost includes land, amenities, location, and market value. Connect with a building evaluation website. A free one is located here.
  • Purchase home and automobile policies from the same insurer
  • Disaster-proof your home by updating major plumbing, heating, and electrical systems. If you live in a hurricane-prone area, storm shutters or reinforcing your roof can help.
  • Increase home security – everyone should have deadbolt locks, but an alarm system may help. Check with the insurance company for their recommendations.
  • Keep a good credit rating because most insurance companies take this into consideration
  • Review policy limits and coverage at least once a year. Make certain the insurance company is aware of improvements you have made and changes in your circumstances.

Choosing an Insurance Company

Plan to acquire at least three quotations from various companies to get a spread of quotes. Acquire opinions about insurance companies from your friends and neighbors since they have undoubtedly had experience with the companies in your area.

Examine the financial ratings and complaints about your chosen insurance companies by checking the following:

  • The state of Vermont's insurance website gives you telephone numbers to help verify licenses, financial stability, and complaints with regard to insurance companies.
  • A.M. Best – a well-known insurance rating firm
  • Standard & Poors
  • National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC)

It is important to make sure your insurance springs from a reputable company with few complaints and a good financial rating. These factors make sure that, in the event of a loss, the insurance company will be capable of paying the claim.

What You Need to Know About Home Insurance Perils and Coverage

Peril refers to the hazards covered under home policies. Most policies are written subject to the Broad Form Property Coverage (HO-2), and the following perils afforded:

  • Windstorm, hail, lightning, and explosion
  • Fire and smoke
  • Theft and vandalism
  • Trees and other falling objects
  • Weight of snow, ice, and sleet
  • Freezing, rupturing, or sudden overflow of plumbing, heating, air conditioning, or fire sprinkler systems – as well as appliances.

Notes:

  • There are some problems with the sudden and accidental overflow of systems. Insurance companies are restricting this type of coverage by assuming a time limit for the occurrence. Insurance policies are not intended to replace ordinary maintenance and repair.
  • Backup and overflow of sewer systems is not covered. Adding this to your policy is a good idea.
  • Limited amounts of coverage apply to such things as antiques, jewelry, and fine arts. It would be wise to purchase additional coverage attached either to your home policy or as an additional policy.
  • Flood insurance is not covered under home policies. You may find out about this type of coverage by consulting the government's flood insurance program.
  • Earthquake insurance, too, is not covered by the average home policy, but may be purchased upon consultation with your insurance agent.
  • Automobile coverage is not provided by a home policy. It is also necessary to purchase insurance separately on boats, motorcycles, and recreational vehicles.

Coverage Limits

It is recommended that you carry guaranteed replacement cost coverage on your property. This type of coverage will allow you to replace your home and personal property at the replacement cost rather than actual cash value, subject to the limits of the policy.

Actual cash value will result in the claim being paid on the value less age and wear and tear.

Suggested limits to be carried:

Property Coverage

  • Building as you choose – consult one of the online calculators for replacement cost.
  • Other structures – 10% of the dwelling limit. – This pays for gazebos and detached garages.
  • Personal property – 50% of the dwelling limit – This pays for your furniture, appliances, and other contents of your home.
  • Loss of use – 20% of the dwelling limit – This pays for living expenses in the event that your dwelling becomes uninhabitable.

Liability Coverage

  • $100,000 of personal injury protection – Applies to financial loss in the event you are sued and found legally responsible for injuries or damage to others.
  • $5,000 of medical payments protection – Applies to medical bills for individuals hurt on your property or hurt by your pets. In this case, legal action need not be taken against you but a claim must be filed.

Liability coverage hires attorneys to defend your interests as well as pay damages as assessed.

Caution about Home Businesses

Home insurance does not cover property used in a business, even though it is a small, home business. Purchase a separate policy to cover your business property such as computers, printers, file cabinets, and other articles.

If people come to conduct business at your home location, consider also purchasing a liability policy to protect yourself.

Home daycare businesses are particularly excluded under a home policy so an additional policy should be purchased for these businesses if they are conducted out of your home. Consult your insurance agent and the insurance company for advice about this type of coverage.

Purchasing a Policy

After considering and discussing the homeowners quotes with your agent, select the most reasonable quote from the ones collected.

Purchasing home insurance is a complicated task; seek the advice of a trusted agent to help with the selection. Be sure to do your research and use our FREE quote comparison tool below!

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