A liability limit is usually stated to determine how much coverage is available in the event of an unfortunate occurrence.
What is Homeowners Insurance?
After any incident covered by their policy occurs, the insured is expected to file a claim within a certain period as stated in the policy. If the claim is approved, the insured will pay an already predetermined deductible and then the insurer will cover the rest. Sometimes after making a claim, you are required to renew your policy at increased rates, or remove that claim from your policy.
Homeowner's Insurance vs Mortgages
To get a mortgage loan, the homeowner is usually required to have proof of insurance. If the homeowner has none, they are offered the chance to get it through the bank. Should they accept this offer, the payments for the policy are added to the mortgage monthly payments.
Homeowner's Insurance vs Home Warranty
The home warranty differs from the homeowner's insurance in that it's a contract that covers repairs or replacements of appliances e.g. water heaters. It isn't a mandatory contact to get a mortgage, and it only lasts for a certain period of time.
Homeowner's Insurance vs Mortgage Insurance
A mortgage insurance also differs from the homeowner's insurance, and is required by the bank when making a down payment of less than 20% of the cost of the property. If you're taking out an FHA loan, the Federal Home Administration would expect you to provide proof of this insurance too.
Different Types of Homeowners Coverage
In the U.S, homeowner’s insurance takes on the HO-1 to HO-8 tag to show the different levels of protection covered. Overall, the levels of coverage are below:
- Actual cash value: this covers cost of house + (value of belongings – depreciation).
- Replacement cost: this covers cost of house + cost of belongings.
- Guaranteed (or extended) replacement cost/value: this comprehensive policy covers whatever amount it costs to rebuild, even if it's more than your policy limit. They usually don’t exceed the limit by more than 20-25% though.
How Are Homeowners Insurance Rates Determined?
Just like other insurance types, the risk is often weighed. Factors used are location, building construction, age of home, frequency of claims, crime rate in the neighborhood, severity of previous claims made, coverage options, presence of security systems, potentially dangerous facilities like a trampoline, or swimming pool, e.t.c.
To reduce the amount of premium paid, you should:
- Get a security and smoke alarm system as this reduces risk level.
- Pick a policy with a higher deductible as this automatically means smaller premiums.
- For renovations or repairs, use building materials less prone to damage.
- Pay off your mortgage as this confers full ownership, and is assumed to be less risky.
How much is homeowner's insurance?
Though costs differ depending on the state, location, type of house, and the assets inside, you can expect to pay an annual fee upwards of $1000.
Deductibles are usually about $1000 for big houses, and $250-500 for smaller houses. As usual, you can't file a claim for bills less than the amount of your deductible. Always consider this before you choose a policy.
Is Homeowner's insurance tax deductible?
The simple answer to this is No. However, you might want to talk to a tax specialist as well as your insurer to confirm this. We've written a whole article about it if you want more information.
Does Homeowner's Insurance cover mold?
Typically, No. However if mold occurs as a result of something covered by your policy, then yes, you'd be entitled to some pay. We've explained it all here. There's usually a limit to the amount though, and it most likely wouldn't cover your bills.
Talk to your insurer about water-related covered perils which you can file a claim for, as this is most related to the formation of mold e.g.
- in the event of a fire in your home, and use of water by fire fighters, you might end up with mold growth. In this scenario, your insurer would have to cover the damages caused.
- Since your assets are insured, the water heater used in your home is covered. In a situation where it gets damaged and perhaps bursts, and it can be proven to be the result of mold formation in your home, you'd also be entitled to coverage.
- Since flood isn't covered by basic homeowner's insurance, mold formation as a result would not be insured.
You could always add a special mold coverage plan to your policy, but bear in mind that this will increase your premiums.