When it comes to purchasing a home, you cannot overlook the importance of purchasing homeowners insurance before closing. If you’re taking out a loan, your lender will most likely require it – but even if you’re paying cash, it’s a must.
Homeowners insurance protects your biggest investment against losses and damage caused by accidents or natural disasters.
Note: It can take a while for your insurance agency to issue your homeowners insurance policy, but in the interim, you can have a “binder” or a temporary homeowners insurance policy.
What Does Homeowners Insurance Cover?
Depending on the policy you select, your insurance coverage will vary. Typically, home insurance covers any damage to your home’s exterior or interior, personal liability, loss or damage of the possessions in your home, and some natural disasters. Make sure you review your insurance policy carefully to understand your coverage, and remember that you can add more coverage at any time.
There are eight types of policy forms, all the way from HO-1 to HO-8. However, the most common policy form is the HO-3. It offers “open peril” coverage to your home’s structure and protects it from up to 16 perils, from fire damage to theft, and “named peril” coverage to your belongings to protect them from damage by the perils specifically listed in your policy documents.
In the case of multi-family units, it is defined as any structure housing more than one occupant and/or family, and can include DP3 insurance. Whether you live in one of the units can determine if you are able to purchase standard homeowners insurance. Otherwise, you will need to purchase “multifamily” insurance which would be a commercial line of insurance.
Pro Tip: If possible include coverage for “Replacement Costs”. This will ensure in the unlikely event of a fire, you can re-build up to current code and costs, loss of rent coverage and in some cases liability coverage.
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