Learn Everything You Need to Know about Home Insurance to Protect Your Home.

When you’re shopping for home insurance, understanding your policy options is key. But determining your coverage needs and finding an affordable policy to fit them can be a frustrating process. No one should navigate the maze of insurance industry terms, processes and tricks alone. This is our comprehensive home insurance guide and we think it can help.

Below you’ll find overviews on all the essentials of home insurance. For first time buyers we’ll start with the basics. Questions like: Which policies are available to choose from? How much coverage do you actually need? How much can you actually afford? And for veteran homeowners we’ll offer insight on how to file claims, reconsider appraisals and lower annual premiums.

Chapter 1 What is Home Insurance

Home insurance policies protect homeowners against damage and losses that affect their property and belongings. The exact terms of coverage depend upon the policy; however, most insurance policies cover perils like hail, thunderstorms, fire, and theft. Home insurance also includes liability protection in the event that someone is injured on the homeowner's property, and many policies also offer financial assistance if a homeowner must be temporarily displaced because their home has been damaged.

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Chapter 2 What Are the Standard Classifications of Coverages?

As a package policy, homeowner's insurance is divided into different classifications, all of which provide coverage for the different aspects of your home and the costs that may accumulate as a result of natural disasters, fire, theft, injuries, and lawsuits. The facts about home insurance classifications of coverage are outlined below.

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Chapter 3 What Are the Different Types of Policies?

While homeowners may feel they have an adequate understanding of their coverage, when it comes time to file a claim, they may realize they did not have the type of policy they thought they did. For this reason, it is important to know about the different levels of coverage and how an insurance company will calculate their contribution towards home repairs or replacement, the replacement of your personal belongings, and what type of damage or disasters are covered. Understanding these differences ahead of time will help you properly protect yourself as a homeowner.

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Chapter 4 What Are the Different Standard Policies?

It's no secret that home insurance provides important protection if some sort of disaster leaves you without your home and property. Most home insurance policies cover damage caused by fire, theft, vandalism, windstorms, and more. However, insurance companies may offer several home insurance policies that provide greater coverage for specific incidences. It's important to know the difference between the types of policies so that you don't buy too much, or not enough, coverage for the area in which you live.

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Chapter 5 How Much Coverage Should I Buy?

While you may think it is as simple as looking to the purchase price or tax valuation of your property to estimate how much home insurance coverage you'll need, it is also important to determine the overall cost of rebuilding your home in the event of a total loss. There are many aspects you will need to consider to ensure you are properly protected as a homeowner. In addition to estimating the cost to replace or repair the structure of your house, you should also factor in the cost of replacing your personal possessions, coverage for living expenses if you are ever displaced from your home, and liability insurance in case anyone is injured on your property.

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Chapter 6 How Is My Home Insurance Premium Determined By the Provider?

Understanding the variables that can affect homeowner's insurance premiums can save consumers a significant amount of money. These factors range from the location of your dwelling to its distance from a fire hydrant. Even factors that consumers may not realize, such as whether they are smokers, can affect their premium. Essentially, insurers consider both the individual seeking insurance and the property they seek to insure.

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Chapter 7 Notes for Filing a Claim

The old Boy Scout motto "Be prepared" should certainly be applied to homeowner's insurance as well. Knowing what you need to do and having clear, well-rehearsed steps to follow in case your home is burglarized, damaged, or destroyed will give you that much more confidence as you begin the home insurance claims process. After all, in the stress that follows a burglary, severe storm, or fire involving your home, being knowledgeable about the claims process can help you keep a level head in the midst of it all.

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Chapter 8 What Can Make You Ineligible for Homeowner's Insurance?

Although the amount of coverage is the same, different homeowners will pay different costs for home insurance. When an insurance provider calculates a person's rates, they look at numerous factors that may increase or decrease the risk of loss. However, some people are ineligible for homeowner's insurance because they, or their home, don't meet minimum standards set by the insurance company. Read on to find out how you may be ineligible for home insurance.

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Chapter 9 Taking Inventory of Your Home, Personal Property, and Scheduling Property

In 2011, severe weather disasters inflicted more than $43 billion in damage, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). They estimate that more than 50% of these homeowners did not have an up-to-date home inventory of their possessions.

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