Wisconsin is known for its diverse geography and a coastline along the Great Lakes second to Michigan in length. Along with plenty of sunshine and snow, flooding and tornadoes are a part of Wisconsin’s weather. Homeowners should consider purchasing a home insurance policy to protect their home against the elements and other unforeseen disasters.
How Much Does Home Insurance Cost?
According to the Insurance Information Institute, in 2010, the average annual premium for homeowners insurance in Wisconsin was $563. But insurance companies consider numerous factors when deciding the cost of a homeowner’s insurance.
Insurance companies look at a home’s location, construction materials, age, and condition. Newer homes will typically cost less to insure because they have a lower risk of the electrical wiring and plumbing malfunctioning. Homes constructed of primarily brick may be less expensive to insure than homes made of wood because they don’t burn as easily. Insurance companies typically charge homeowners more to insure homes that are located in areas that have a high crime rate.
The final cost of insurance will depend on how much coverage the policy provides. The more coverage you require, the more the premium will cost. Fortunately for the homeowner, there are some ways to bring the cost down. Insurance companies offer discounts if the homeowner has smoke detectors, fire alarms, burglar alarms, sprinklers, fire hydrants, and deadbolt locks installed in their home.
What Does It Cover?
Home insurance policies in Wisconsin cover damage caused by fires, lightning strikes, smoke, windstorms, hail, weight of snow and ice, vandalism, theft, and other perils. The financial protection includes damage to the structure of the home as well as the furniture, clothing, and appliances inside of it. Most policies include reimbursement for living expenses if the homeowner has to temporarily relocate because of damage done to their home. Home insurance usually provides liability protection in case you are found at fault for injuring someone or damaging their property. Protection against flooding and earthquakes are not covered in most policies.
Do I Have to Get Home Insurance?
Home insurance is not required by law in Wisconsin. 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. The Wisconsin Office of the Commissioner of Insurance has more information for consumers about home insurance.
Optional Coverage to Consider
- Flood. Flooding is one of the greatest risks to anyone’s property, especially if they live near a lake or a river. Unfortunately, most policies in Wisconsin don’t have coverage for damage caused by flooding. The good news is that you can purchase it from many insurance carriers or through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
- Windstorm. Damage from windstorms is typically covered by a home insurance policy, which is fortunate because Wisconsin receives an average of 24 tornadoes per year, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Most companies offer additional coverage through special endorsements, which you may want to consider if you live in Dane, Marathon, Grant, Green Lake, and Fond du Lac counties. These counties received the most tornadoes of any other areas of the state between 1982 and 2011, according to the Wisconsin Division of Emergency Management.
Mobile Home Insurance
Mobile home insurance works similarly to home insurance. It covers the structure of the mobile home and the property within it, including clothes, furniture, and appliances, from damage caused by fire, smoke, windstorms, lightning, falling objects, hail, vandalism, and theft. However, some companies require that your mobile home be stationary, which may mean either being tied down or otherwise secured to the ground in a permanent fashion. Many mobile policies don’t cover collision damage, but they do include liability protection.