Compare Single-Family Homeowners Insurance
For most homeowners, their home is their most valuable asset. Why not protect your single-family home with the coverage it deserves?
Accidents, theft, vandalism, and disasters happen. In the event of peril, home insurance can help you repair and replace your home and belongings. And if someone is accidentally injured on your property, or if you accidentally cause injury or property damage to another, home insurance can financially protect you from liability.
Learn more about single family homeowners insurance and compare coverage options below. Or, if you do not own your single-family home, compare renters insurance here.
What Does Homeowners Insurance Cover?
A standard home insurance policy for a single-family home typically includes:
- Dwelling coverage: Helps pay to repair or rebuild the structure of your home, including your other structures (such as sheds), in the event of an accident, theft/vandalism, along with certain disasters, hazards, or other covered peril. Learn more
- Personal property coverage: Helps pay to repair or replace your belongings in the event of a covered loss. Learn more
- Personal liability coverage: Helps pay for medical, legal, and other costs in the event someone is accidentally injured on your property, or if you accidentally cause an injury or damage someone else’s property. Learn more
- Loss of use coverage: Reimburses you for hotel and other living expenses if your home is uninhabitable due to a covered peril.
Optional coverage can include:
- Jewelry, art, collectibles, and other expensive items: You can add a rider, which means purchasing more coverage on top of your homeowners insurance policy. Adding a rider involves “scheduling” or listing specific high-value items. By scheduling expensive items -- like jewelry, art, or music or exercise equipment -- you can get coverage limits that are higher than your standard personal property coverage. Additionally, riders can cover misplacements (e.g., if you lost your engagement ring). You can also save with a rider. It is often cheaper to add a rider versus buying separate policies for your expensive belongings. Often, there are little to no deductibles with a rider.
- Replacement cost coverage: If your property is stolen or damaged, standard policies typically reimburse you for the actual cash value, which includes depreciation. For example, if you purchased a TV five years ago for $1,000 and the exact same TV is now worth only $500, you would only be paid $500 to replace the TV if it is damaged. If you have replacement cost coverage, in this example you would get back $1,000. With replacement cost coverage, you are protected from depreciation and will be reimbursed the amount you originally paid when replacing your damaged property.
- Identity theft restoration: Some home insurance companies offer identity theft restoration, which covers the cost of legal fees, lost wages, and other related expenses if your identity is stolen.
- Electronic data recovery: Certain home insurers also offer to cover the cost of recovering lost personal data. For instance, if your computer crashes and you lose all your files, photos, and videos, the coverage helps pay for a specialist to get your data back.
What is Not Covered?
Keep in mind that not all perils are automatically covered.
Though a standard home insurance policy generally provides a good amount of coverage, when comparing quotes it is a good idea to clarify what perils are included versus those that are excluded.
Compare the Best Home Insurance Quotes for Your Coverage Needs:
How Much Coverage Do You Need?
The amount of coverage you need for your single-family home will vary. Take the following into consideration when purchasing homeowners insurance:
- Aim for 80% replacement cost of your home. You need enough dwelling coverage to rebuild your home in the event of a total loss. It is recommended to have a coverage amount of at least 80% of the value of your home’s structure.To give you an idea on how to determine the minimum amount of dwelling coverage you need, you must first know the value of your home’s structure versus the land. If you had an appraisal in the past, you should be able to find these two figures in the document. Calculate the factor your structure is of your home’s total value. For example, if the structure was appraised at $300,000 and the land at $100,000 (for a total home value of $400,000), the factor would be 0.75 (or 300,000/400,000). Next, check some real estate websites to find the current value of your home. Then, multiply your current home value by the factor to get an idea of the value of your home’s structure. So, using the above example, if your home is now estimated to be valued at $500,000, then your structure should be around $375,000 (or 500,000 x 0.75). Lastly, multiply the value of your home’s structure by 80%, as this is the recommended minimum amount of dwelling coverage. In this example, you'd get a dwelling coverage amount of $300,000 (or $375,000 x 0.80).The above doesn’t take into account depreciation, however. It also does not consider any remodeling you may have done to increase the value.
If you find all of this too complicated, you are not alone. Consider hiring a professional appraiser. Or, while you are comparing quotes, an agent can estimate the value of your home’s structure.
- Calculate the value of your belongings. Next, you will need to know how much personal property coverage to purchase. The best way to do this would be to create a list or spreadsheet. Start with your higher priced items (like electronics, appliances, and furniture). Then estimate more mid-value items, perhaps clothes, kitchenware, etc. It likely is not possible to calculate the exact value of everything you own. In general, the more expensive the item, the more important it is to get an exact figure.
Once you have an idea of what your possessions are worth, ask yourself how much you can afford to spend out-of-pocket in the event that you lose everything and have to replace it all. For instance, let’s say your belongings are worth $5,000. If you are not comfortable with the thought of having to spend $5,000 all over again, then aim for $5,000 in personal property coverage. Or, let’s say you are ok with some risk and can afford an unexpected bill of $2,000. If that is the case, then perhaps you are ok with only $3,000 in personal property coverage.
- Assess your risks. Consider where your home is located. Is there a lot of crime? What about natural disasters? Are wildfires, earthquakes, mudslides, floods, tornadoes, or other hazards expected? Knowing this can help you decide on a policy. You want to know what perils are included or excluded. If there is a fair risk of a peril happening in your neighborhood, you want to make sure it is covered. Some hazards, like wildfires, floods, and earthquakes, typically require separate policies. If you live in an earthquake zone, for example, aim to get the best rate on a standard homeowners insurance policy with broad coverage so that you have enough left over for a separate earthquake policy.
- Compare your options. Be sure to look at multiple carriers. Coverage options and rates can greatly vary by company. As such, certain companies may not be the best fit for your home (and wallet), while others can offer you the right coverage at a great price. Start now
How to Get the Best Homeowners Insurance Rates
Shopping around is a tried-and-true way to get the best homeowners insurance rates. That is why it is important to compare multiple quotes. Aim to get at least three estimates from top-rated companies. It is also recommended to try getting a couple quotes from brokers or a regional company as well.
Here are a couple of additional ways to get the lowest homeowners insurance rates:
- Minimize risks in your single-family home. Certain possessions or features of your home can pose higher risk and result in a higher base rate. Be aware of anything in your home that is dangerous or likely to attract injury. These often include trampolines, tree houses, and swing sets. Your dog can also fall into this category, especially certain breeds (like Pitbulls, Dobermans, or German Shepherds) or dogs with a history of biting people.
- You may not be able to part with your dog, but if you can part with a potentially dangerous possession, such as your trampoline, that could help you a lot. It can not only mitigate your risks, but also lower your home insurance rates. If you absolutely can’t part with something, you may be able to exclude it from your policy and avoid the increased rate. Keep in mind that this would be financially risky.
- Take advantage of discounts. Before you start comparing quotes, have an idea of what discounts are available and applicable to you. Home insurance companies can offer a multitude of home-based and policy-based discounts, and if you qualify for multiple discounts, you stand to save significantly. And just because you do not qualify for a discount today, doesn’t mean you won't tomorrow -- for instance, if you don’t have a security alarm, consider getting one installed. Not only will it make you and your home safer, but you may also enjoy a discounted home insurance rate.
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