Tornado damage is often severe and irreparable

Idaho borders six U.S. states and one Canadian province and boasts an abundance of natural resources and scenic areas. Homeowners in this bountiful and fast-growing state should consider some kind of home insurance to protect their homes from unforeseen events.

How Much Does Idaho Home Insurance Cost?

Idaho is one of the more reasonably priced states in terms of homeowners insurance. According to the Insurance Information Institute, in 2010, the average annual premium for homeowners insurance in Idaho was just $500. But keep in mind insurance companies offering home owners insurance policies consider a number of factors when it comes to determining the total cost of a policy.

For example, insuring older homes usually requires higher premiums because they tend to have more problems. Other factors like the address of the home, and certain amenities included with the home can greatly affect the cost as well. Homes located in areas with higher crime rates, or in areas that have a higher number of claim incidents, will have higher premiums. Additionally, larger homes cost more to insure because there is more overall property. Even luxuries like pools or hot tubs can raise costs because there are typically more claims associated with them, while other amenities like alarms, fences, and smoke detectors can lower premiums. Certain breeds of dog that you keep in your home or on your property can also raise premiums drastically, or even make your home uninsurable with certain companies.

You can find helpful advice for shopping for homeowners insurance in Idaho through the state’s Department of Insurance website.

What Does It Cover?

Home insurance in Idaho not only pays for damage done to your home, but also to outdoor buildings, and personal property. Home insurance can also help pay for living quarters if your home requires extensive repairs following catastrophic damage. Additionally, most policies will provide limited coverage for certain money, gold, jewelry, and other valuable collectibles in your home. Liability coverage, which typically covers the cost of lawsuits for bodily injury or property damage that is caused by the homeowner or family members living in the same home, is not always a part of a standard policy and may have to be purchased separately in Idaho.

Do I Have to Get Home Insurance in Idaho?

Home insurance is not required by law in Idaho. But 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.

Optional Coverage to Consider

  • Flood. Similar to most other states, flood insurance is not covered under a basic home insurance policy in the state of Idaho. While policies differ from company to company, in most cases flood insurance is only required if your home lies within a flood plain. You can learn more about the risk of flood in your area through the Idaho Department of Water Management’s Floodplain Management website.
  • Fire and Lightning. Fire and lightning coverage typically protects you from the cost of damage to your property that is caused specifically by fire or lightning. Most home insurance policies in Idaho will list fire and lightning under basic coverage, but you should go through your policy as thoroughly as possible to ensure that you are covered. You should also alert your home insurance provider to any fire prevention devices you have in your home such as fire alarms, fire extinguishers, or sprinkler systems, since most insurance companies offer discounts for having them.
  • Windstorm. Damage caused by windstorms or tornados are typically covered under most standard insurance policies in the state of Idaho. While the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reports that on average, only five tornadoes occur in Idaho each year, high winds and hail can still occur and cause significant damage. In most cases, your policy will cover any damage resulting from a tornado, high winds, or even hail, but make sure to check with your agent to know the specifics of your policy.
  • Hazard. Hazard insurance generally covers physical damage to your home or property that is caused by perils like fire and smoke damage or vandalism. Hazard policies can differ drastically from policy to policy in Idaho. Some policies will cover only a handful of specifically named perils, while other policies may cover all hazards except those excluded by name.
  • Earthquake. While occurrences of earthquakes in Idaho are rare, the state does have a history of them, including a 7.1 magnitude quake that hit near Hebgen Lake, Montana, in 1959. The earthquake caused $11 million in total damage and extended into Idaho. Earthquake coverage is generally not included in basic policies, but you can usually purchase a separate policy through your insurance provider.

Mobile Home Insurance in Idaho

Insurance for mobile and manufactured homes is similar to home insurance in the state of Idaho in that it typically covers your mobile home, personal belongings inside the home, and other property like tool sheds in the event they are damaged or destroyed. The Farmers Insurance Mobile and Manufactured Home Insurance policy includes personal property protection, liability protection for family members and guests, and structural damage protection from perils like fire, vandalism, landslide, failing objects, explosion, and many others.

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