Do I Need Homeowners Insurance?
If you’ve been living here in Florida for a while, you know that property damage is no joke. The Sunshine State gets its fair share of extreme weather, including all those summer hurricanes we love to hate. If you’re curious, it’s worth noting that on a national level, we shattered the record for billion-dollar disaster events like hurricanes in 2020—and those disaster events are on the rise.
No one likes being caught off-guard when something like a hurricane has you in its sights. But if you’re trying to save every penny, it’s tempting to think, “I’ve been lucky so far. Do I need homeowners insurance?”
If this question sounds familiar, we’ve got you covered! Here’s what you should know about homeowners insurance policies and when it’s time to consider one.
What Does Homeowners Insurance Cover?
First things first: what is homeowners insurance, anyway, and what does it cover? In general, this type of personal insurance can protect your house and everything in it.
Of course, not all policies are created equal! Some policies carry more or less coverage for certain belongings and items, which lets you decide what you want to protect. Here are the types of coverage you’ll want to consider:
All policies will protect your dwelling, meaning the structure of your house itself. This means you’ll get a payout to repair or rebuild in the case of a disaster.
Protection for Other Structures
Many policies include protection for other structures around your home. These structures can include things like your garage, shed, fence, or even guest house.
Protection for Your Belongings
In addition to the structure of your home, homeowners insurance will protect your belongings in the case of damage or theft. This can include everything from furniture to appliances to personal electronics.
Coverage for Living Expenses
Should the worst happen, this type of coverage will pay for temporary living expenses if your home gets damaged. From your hotel to your car rental, you won’t have to pay out of pocket if you’re forced out of your home.
Personal Liability Protection
If one of your guests gets injured or their belongings get damaged on your property, personal liability protection can help. This type of homeowners insurance coverage helps pay for things like legal expenses or medical bills so that you don’t have to pay out of pocket.
All of these types of coverage will have different limits of liability, and different policies will cover different things. This is especially true when it comes to optional coverage, which lets you add extra protection for anything that concerns you.
Do I Need Homeowners Insurance?
All of this protection might sound great, but do you really need it?
The fact is, there are no legal requirements about having home insurance. However, if you’re planning to take out a mortgage, your bank will require you to have a policy until you’ve paid the loan off. You should see this as a condition in your documentation, though some lenders call it “hazard insurance” instead of “homeowners insurance.”
Beyond this, having homeowners insurance is a good idea—even if you’ve paid off your home!
Think of it this way: your house is an important asset, and it’s well worth protecting. Most homeowners don’t have enough money to repair their home and replace all of their belongings in the case of a disaster. An unforeseen event like a major hurricane could destroy your finances and leave you without a place to live.
In addition, these policies offer great protection against potential lawsuits or expensive medical bills. Without one, if you find yourself struggling to pay for a serious accident that happened on your property, you could end up paying thousands or even hundreds of thousands out of pocket.
For your financial protection, as well as your own peace of mind, it’s a good idea to have a homeowners insurance policy in place. At the end of the day, the last thing you want to do with an asset as important as your home is to cross your fingers and hope for the best.
How Much Homeowners Insurance Do I Need?
Once you’ve made the decision to take out a policy, you’re probably wondering, “What coverage do I need for homeowners insurance?”
Every home is different, and every homeowner has different personal circumstances and assets to protect. What’s more, because there are so many different types of coverage for standard homeowners insurance—not to mention optional coverage—it can be hard to tell where to start.
In general, it helps to consider the total value of your home and your possessions. You should plan to buy enough coverage to protect your home and your assets as your dwelling coverage amount.
If you haven’t done so already, consider making a household inventory list. These are great not just for determining your possessions’ value, but also for having all the details of your possession in the case of property damage! It’s also a great resource to have on hand as you talk to a professional about your coverage.
From there, you’ll need to get into the nuanced details of your coverage—which is where an insurance agent comes in.
An experienced agent can help you consider the details of your policy needs, from your home’s replacement value to local building costs to the amount of personal liability you need. They can also help you understand if you should consider any extra coverage for prized belongings like family heirlooms or fine art.
Talk to Our Agents About Your Coverage Needs
Now that you’ve stopped wondering, “Do I need homeowners insurance?” it’s time to talk to our team!
Our agents are here to make insurance easy. We help you find the coverage you need at a price you can afford, meaning that you can protect your safe haven well into the future.
Ready to take the next step? Get in touch with us to learn more, and feel free to reach out with questions. We’re happy to help!