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How to Buy Homeowner's Insurance

Find Home Insurance to Protect Families, Prized Possessions

Learn more about how to find home insurance. Some quick insurance facts to help decide what the best homeowner's insurance coverage is for any home.

Before shopping around for a For Sale By Owner homeowners insurance quote, learn more about the policy:

  • Homeowner's insurance policy coverages: actual cash value vs. replacement cost. We'll start off with actual cash value and replacement cost, because if this coverage isn't specified in the quote, homeowners could be in for some serious trauma if there is an insurance claim. Simply put, actual cash value includes depreciating the value of items at the time of the insurance claims assessment. The depreciation calculation varies by the item insured, the insurance company and the individual claims adjuster.
  • Replacement cost value does not depreciate the value of items insured at the time of the insurance claims assessment. Replacement Cost is the actual cost to replace an item destroyed or damaged in the event of a covered loss. Replacement Cost increases the cost of the homeowners insurance quote. But if there is ever a need to file an insurance claim, policyholders will be glad they found home insurance with this coverage. Note: Receipts, video and itemized inventories can make the insurance claims process a lot easier and more expeditious process.
  • What's included in the homeowner's insurance quote- building. Find home insurance that includes Fire, Lightning, Wind and Vandalism coverage. A limited extension of coverage for outbuildings should also be included in the homeowners insurance quote.
  • What's included in the home insurance quote and personal property insurance policy. Contents insurance or personal effects insurance covers most of the items in the home, including furniture. A limited extension of insurance coverage for personal property off-premises (i.e., personal effects in a kid's dorm room or in the car) is included in the personal property insurance, too.
  • What's excluded from the home insurance quote. PCs and phone systems are generally excluded, although special limits of coverage at an additional premium may be available for these items. Wear and tear, backed-up sewers and earthquakes are almost never covered by a home insurance quote. Clearly, anything fraudulent won't be covered by personal property insurance, either.
  • Special limits in the homeowner's insurance policy. Glass, jewelry, furs, and most valuable collectibles only receive a minimal pay-out from personal property insurance if damaged by a covered loss and reported in a homeowner's insurance claim. But, these items can be added to a "rider" (also known as scheduled personal property insurance or a personal property insurance floater) for policyholders who need broader coverage than what's found in a standard home insurance policy.
  • The state department of insurance provides consumer information about property insurance.
  • The Insurance Information Institute provides more information about homeowners insurance for consumers.

Before finding home insurance, review information available at state property insurance associations and from the state department of insurance.

To get a better understanding of how to find home insurance, talk to an insurance agent or a licensed agent at an insurance company. They can discuss the ins and outs of the homeowner's insurance policy, including insurance coverage, limits, and exclusions. Research how to find home insurance policy and company information at state departments of insurance and at consumer-oriented websites.

This article was first published on Suite101.com.