Getting Home Insurance in Philadelphia
A homeowner’s insurance policy provides coverage in the event that a hazard like fire, severe weather, theft, or a burglary causes loss or damage to the insured’s property, including the house structure, detached structures, and personal property. Be sure to check your policy for what perils are covered and what perils are excluded from coverage — usually, earthquake and flooding are excluded. A homeowner’s insurance policy will cover personal liability in the event that a claim is brought against the policyholder due to another’s accidental injury or the damage of another person’s property. Homeowner’s insurance also provides additional living expenses, including food, housing, and storage while your home is under repair or being replaced due to a covered loss.
Flood insurance is usually excluded from a Philadelphia homeowner’s insurance policy. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) provides flood insurance for communities participating within its program, but flood insurance may be purchased if your property is not located on a flood plain through any licensed property and casualty insurance agent. After any natural disaster, fire, or hazard, contact your insurance company to report your loss and file a claim. Take an inventory of all damages before repairs, either by photographing or taking video of the damages. As the policyholder, it’s your responsibility to make temporary repairs before they cause further damages after the covered peril occurs. Be sure to save all receipts and document all interactions with your insurance agent.
Factors of Home Insurance Rates in Philadelphia
One of the things your insurer will use to underwrite your insurance premium is your house’s credit score, which is based on your payment history, the number of credit lines you have open, the type of credit in use, any outstanding debt, and the length of your credit history. Your insurer will also take into account your home’s age, its condition, the replacement cost, its construction, its distance from fire protection and the quality of the fire protection, your claims history, and the area that you live in. If the crime rate in your area is high, the insurer may not provide you with a policy, or may charge you a higher premium. The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation reported in 2010 that there were 3,708 property crime offenses per 100,000 inhabitants in Philadelphia. The national figure was reported at 5,235 offenses per 100,000 inhabitants. Keep in mind, insurers will adjust your rate depending on the crime rate for your neighborhood.
An insurance company must notify the policyholder before taking adverse action, such as termination of a policy, nonrenewal, or adjusting the premium. An insurance company may non-renew a Philadelphia homeowner’s insurance policy due to claims history in Pennsylvania, but may make recommendations to protect against a frequent claim; termination may result if the recommendations are not followed. Your insurance company may terminate a policy if you do not pay your premium on time, if the company finds a claim or insurance application fraudulent or misrepresenting information, or if the policy holder omits actions to prevent or purposefully acts in a way to cause damages protected against in the insurance policy.