Due to its location at a climatic boundary prone to multiple air masses, the state of Kansas is prone to extreme weather, including severe thunderstorms, hail, flash flooding, and tornadoes. Home insurance can be expensive in Kansas, but homeowners should consider the potential costs of not having any financial protection against damages from the elements.
How Much Does Home Insurance Cost?
According to the Insurance Information Institute, in 2010, the average annual premium for homeowners insurance in Kansas was $1,066. Insurance companies take several different factors into consideration when it comes to determining the total cost of a policy, including the age, location, and construction materials of a home. Homes with amenities like pools and hot tubs will cost more to insure, as will homes located in high crime areas.
It’s important to evaluate a home insurance policy as thoroughly as possible in order to know exactly what damages are covered, and for how much. You can learn more about purchasing your policy through the Kansas Insurance Department’s Homeowners and Renters Insurance and Shopper’s Guide.
What Does It Cover?
A standard home insurance policy in Kansas will cover the cost of damages done to the structure of your home and any personal property inside in the event of vandalism, fire, or a natural disaster. A home insurance policy also usually provides you and your family with liability coverage to protect you from incurring any court costs or medical fees in case anyone is injured on your property on account of your negligence. A policy will also pay the cost of living quarters, should you ever have to leave your home on account of extensive damage, and provide limited coverage for money, gold, jewelry, and certain other collectibles that you have in your home.
Do I Have to Get Home Insurance?
Home insurance is not required by law in Kansas. However, 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. Flood insurance is typically not covered under most standard home insurance policies in Kansas. The Kansas Insurance Department advises Kansas homeowners in participating communities to purchase federal flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program. You can learn more about the risk of flooding in your area through the Kansas Department of Agriculture’s flood risk website.
- Fire and Lightning. Damages to your home or property due to fire and lightening are usually covered under your basic homeowner’s policy in Kansas. But you should still evaluate your policy to ensure you have adequate coverage. Homeowners should note that by the end of the summer of 2012, Kansas wildfires had burned more than 41,000 acres and destroyed at least 26 structures.
- Windstorm. Making sure that you have an adequate amount of coverage for windstorms and tornadoes is critical for homeowners in Kansas. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the state of Kansas is hit by 96 tornados a year on average, one of the highest rates in the country. While most home insurance policies in Kansas will cover damages associated with windstorms, tornadoes, and hail under your basic policy, some may require the purchase of an additional rider specific to tornado damage if you live in a high risk area.
- Hazard. Hazard insurance can differ more than any other type of coverage from policy to policy and company to company. Most policies will cover damages done to your home by vandalism, or smoke and fire related damage, in addition to several other items. Be sure to read through your policy carefully, and speak with your insurance agent if anything is unclear. Some policies will cover only a handful of specifically named hazards, while other policies may only name a few items that are not specifically covered.
- Scheduled Specified Personal Belongings. If you have a substantial amount of personal belongings and valuables that exceed the amount of personal property coverage that comes with your homeowners policy, you can schedule the additional items to gain additional coverage. These rider policies usually provide additional coverage for items like cameras, art, fine clothing, jewelry, musical instruments, golf equipment, and ever certain collectibles such as stamps or coins.
Mobile Home Insurance
Mobile or manufactured home insurance in the state of Kansas is very similar to a traditional homeowner’s insurance policy. Coverage usually includes items like furniture, clothing, appliances, tool sheds and the items inside it, and structural damage to the home itself should any of these items become destroyed, damaged, or stolen. Most policies will also include liability protection should anyone suffer bodily harm on your property as an act of negligence