Massive floods can be devastating if not insured

Delaware is located along the Atlantic coast in the Mid-Atlantic region of the U.S. Delaware homeowner’s enjoy relatively low premiums for home insurance thanks in part to its mild climate, although the effects of 2012’s Hurricane Sandy were most definitely felt throughout the state.

How Much Does Delaware Home Insurance Cost?

Delaware is one of the less expensive states in terms of homeowners insurance. According to the Insurance Information Institute, in 2010, the average annual premium for homeowners insurance in Delaware was just $636. Insurance companies look at a variety of factors when determining what rate they will charge for policies, including the age and condition of the home, how the home is constructed, and the home’s distance from fire hydrants and fire departments. Other considerations that affect your rate include the claims history of your home and other homes in your area, and the presence of hazards like wood stoves, swimming pools, trampolines, or playscapes. Dog breeds and insurance are also related, since owning a breed of dog that is known for aggression constitutes an added hazard.

To get the best possible rate, be sure to compare quotes from a variety of insurers for identical levels of coverage. Often, you can get the same coverage from another company at a lower cost. You can compare the rates of various home insurance providers on the Delaware Department of Insurance website.

What Does It Cover?

Home insurance in Delaware protects you financially if your home and/or its contents are damaged or destroyed. In addition, your homeowner’s insurance policy should include liability coverage to protect you from lawsuits in the event that someone is injured on your property and you, a named family member, or your pet is found to be at fault. You may have to purchase liability coverage as a separate policy.

Do I Have to Get Home Insurance in Delaware?

Although home insurance isn’t required by law, it will likely be required by a lender if you finance the purchase of your home. Buying insurance can help protect your house and property against damage from unforeseen circumstances and liability for accidents that injure other people or damage their property. The Delaware Department of Insurance has more information.

Optional Coverage to Consider

  • Flood. Since flood insurance is not included in most standard policies, most homeowners who want this important coverage must purchase it separately or add it as an endorsement to their policy. In Delaware, as in other states, most flood insurance is backed by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and offered through local agents, although some private companies unaffiliated with NFIP do offer it.
  • Fire and Lightning. Fire and lightning coverage is another essential component of standard homeowner’s insurance policies. It is included among the 17 covered perils listed in a broad (HO-2) homeowner’s insurance policy, as well as the even broader Special (HO-3) policy purchased by most homeowners. But it doesn’t hurt to double check that this coverage is not excluded from your policy for any reason, since both perils have the potential to cause serious damage to your home.
  • Hazard. Hazard insurance and home insurance are terms that are often used interchangeably. Often, hazard insurance refers to the portion of your insurance that covers your dwelling, its contents, and any outbuildings, such as a detached garage or a tool shed. When purchasing hazard insurance, keep in mind that the minimum amount required to satisfy your mortgage lender may not be enough to replace your home and belongings if your home were to suffer a total loss. Consider insuring your home at its replacement cost, rather than at its actual cash value, in order to more fully recoup your losses.
  • Windstorm. Windstorm and hail coverage is included in most standard homeowner’s insurance policies, but may be excluded in coastal areas of Delaware. Also, some providers have separate deductibles for windstorms or if the damage was caused by a hurricane event. Talk with your insurance agent or broker to get more clarity on what you will need to pay for and what the insurance company will cover in the event of certain kinds of windstorms.
  • Scheduled Personal Property Endorsement. If you have valuable belongings, you might want to consider a scheduled personal property endorsement. This endorsement covers valuables like fine jewelry and silverware, expensive furs and watches, antiques, and rare coins and stamps. This endorsement is also something to think about if you have particularly expensive collections of equipment, tools, cameras, musical instruments, and computers. You may have the option to insure your valuables per item or in groups of items, depending on your needs. Each item listed on a personal property endorsement is itemized and described in detail.

Mobile Home Insurance in Delaware

Delaware mobile home insurance is designed to meet the specific needs of people who own mobile homes, sometimes referred to as manufactured homes. Mobile home policies also protect you from financial loss in the event your home gets damaged or destroyed by perils like fire, windstorm, hail, theft, or vandalism. Mobile insurance in Delaware can also include liability and temporary living expenses coverage.

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