Homeowners Insurance….what buyers need to know, and ask

by | Jun 17, 2012 | Real Estate | 0 comments

Happy Sunny Sunday!  🙂

…and to those of you father’s, may I wish you a very wonderful Father’s Day!  In Woodland, this weekend is Planter’s Day weekend so we have been busy with our community.  I think most people around here love this week, and most of us love our community events where we love being a part of it.  Planters Day weekend is always Fathers Day weekend here, so my husband kind of gets two weekends because this weekend ends up being taken over by the community event.  We all get a little sun burnt yesterday though…today was SO much better, and the classic car show was in town too….  🙂  Now I am working, and my husband is having some quality time by himself and the xbox.  LOL!  I hope that the fathers in your life are having a wonderful day as well.

So this week we are going to talk about homeowners insurance as it is very important to you as a home buyer.  Homeowners insurance is also known as Hazard Insurance, and once you have a home you need to call around for some insurance quotes.  Homeowners insurance typically runs about $400-$600 a year…but that doesn’t cover what you really think it does.

Homeowners insurance is really about the 3 C’s….Custody, Care, and Control.  What an insurance company considers is this:  Was the damage something you could have Controlled?  Was the damage something within your Custody?  With Care could the damage have been prevented?

What this means is if a tree falls on your home there really isn’t you could have done about it, so covered.  A car drives into your home?  Covered.  Did you pipes freeze while you were out of town?  Question:  Did you perform preventative maintenance?  Covered.  You haven’t performed any preventative maintenance?  You might have a problem.  Your water heater goes out?  Not covered…that would be a home warranty…however, the damage from the water heater may be covered.  You have a roof leak?  Depends…Did a major storm come through?  May be covered.  No major storm….that would be a maintenance issue…meaning something that you could have controlled or was within your care and no…it isn’t covered.  A fire would be covered.

Why is homeowners insurance important?
If your home burned to the ground you still have to pay your mortgage, but you would be paying mortgage for a home you can’t live in.  Homeowners insurance will cover the cost of re-building the home so you still have a place to live….especially since you are still paying mortgage on it!  Don’t forget that just like with car insurance you have your deductible…..and you have to make sure that your homeowners insurance covers the rising cost of your home if you needed to rebuild it.  Raising your insured dollar amount on your home will increase your mortgage payment as that is part of your escrow.

What else doesn’t your homeowners insurance cover?
Earthquakes!  Our area is the #1 earthquake danger zone…..crazy, isn’t it?  When I bought my home earthquake insurance was part of my regular homeowners insurance….about a year or so ago they stopped covering it due to the question of not ‘if’, but ‘when’.  I very much encourage you to purchase earthquake insurance for your home.  Mine is $127 for the year…..I can deal with that.

Other insurances?
Flood.  I live in Woodland, and yes, I carry Flood insurance as well as my other insurances.  Flood insurance costs range and vary on the home and location in Woodland.  There are other areas in Cowlitz and yes, Clark County too, that are required to carry Flood insurance.

Umbrella Insurances….  I also have dogs, and I drive a lot.  I also carry an Umbrella Insurance policy because if some one were to jump into my back yard and one of my dogs bit them (why are they in my back yard anyway?) then sadly, yes, they can sue me.  If some kid falls on my driveway or sidewalk and breaks his/her arm, whether I am home or not, they can sue me.  I know, crazy, right?  Anyhow, this umbrella policy goes on top of my regular policy to provide me with extra protection…just in case…

Some things that can increase your insurance costs?
Dogs, pools, trampolines, location of home, previous claims on the home…these are the most common culprits, and yes, I love my dogs so it is worth it!  🙂

Don’t forget that by putting your homeowners insurance and car insurance with the same company can reduce your costs as most insurance companies will give you a discount for ‘bundling’ your policies with them.

DON’T FORGET!!  If you know anyone who is thinking about buying a home, our next class is Saturday, June 23, 2012, at the Vancouver YMCA located at 11324 NE 51st Circle from 10am2pm!  With reservations, lunch is included….  🙂

Please let me know if you have any questions! And again as always, if you are looking for a buyer’s agent, please give me a call or drop me an email…I would love to help you with your home buying adventure!

Please call, email, text, or even facebook me (at Tracie DeMars Real Estate Q&A) anytime with any questions, or if there is anything I can do to assist you with your home buying adventure! As a buyers agent, I am, as always, here to help!! 😀

Thank you again for your business and for your referrals!

If there is anything you would like to see on here…please let me know and I will make it a weekly note!

…as always…if you have already purchased a home, or no longer would like to receive these emails from me, please let me know and I will be happy to remove you from receiving any more.

Thank you again for attending the home buyer education classes, and I hope that you will continue to refer the classes out to your friends, family, and co-workers. Upcoming class dates and times are located at www.freehomebuyerclasses.com.  Just click on the link on the left hand side.  We appreciate your referrals and word of mouth!  Also, if you have somewhere that we can place the flyers at, please let me know….

Next Week: Other items to look into when buying in a new area/town/school district.  
Last Week: More on Title Insurance (CCR’s & Easements)

Remember that you can always go to ‘Free Home Buyer Education’ on Facebook for all of my weeklyblogs and upcoming class dates/times/locations. I post the weekly blogs on there as well.

Have a great day, and I will talk to you soon,

Tracie DeMars / Realtor

ReMax Equity Group
License# 81289
Vancouver, WA

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