Residence insurance isn’t a specific insurance type, but simply refers to any type of homeowners policy that you purchase to protect the financial investment you’ve made in your abode.
What it Covers
This type of plan is often referred to as a “package policy.” That’s because it provides coverage for:
- Damage to the structure of your home
- Damage to your personal belongings
- Additional living expenses if you’re temporarily unable to live in your home after it’s been damaged
- Liability if someone is injured on your property
Of course, the specifics of these coverages are determined by what kind of policy you have and how much you’ve insured your home for. To help you figure out what kind of policy you need, let’s take a look at some general coverage options.
As you shop for home insurance, you’ll notice there are a handful of policies from which to choose.
According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), the most common examples include the following:
Limited (HO-1): This bare bones policy covers 10 perils, including damage caused by fire, smoke, lightning, theft and vandalism.
Basic (HO-2): This policy covers 16 perils, including damage caused by the weight of snow and ice, frozen pipes and other accidental water damage from appliances.
Special (HO-3): This is the most popular residence insurance policy, as it covers all perils, except for damages from flood, landslide, mudslide, and war.
It’s important to remember that this is not an all-inclusive list; there are other comparable residence insurance policies available for other types of homes, such as condos, mobile homes or historic homes.
Levels of Coverage
Once you’ve decided which type of policy is right for you, you’ll need to consider the level of coverage you need: actual cash value, replacement cost or guaranteed replacement cost.
Actual cash value: This level of coverage pays to replace your home and possessions, minus depreciation. That means if you bought a laptop two years ago for $1,200, you probably won’t be reimbursed the full $1,200.
Replacement cost: This level of coverage pays to replace your home and possessions without a deduction for depreciation. This means if you can show you paid $1,200 for your laptop, you’ll be reimbursed for that amount (up to your policy amount).This is the most popular level of residence insurance coverage.
Guaranteed replacement cost: This level of coverage pays whatever it costs to rebuild your home and replace your possessions—even if it exceeds the policy limit. As protection is concerned, this offers the highest level of coverage.
Whether you live in a house, mobile home or condo, you can save on residence insurance by:
Shopping around. Online shopping sites like InsureMe.com allow you to compare multiple quotes from local insurers to find the policy that’s right for you.
Increasing your deductible. Agreeing to pay more out-of-pocket on claims will automatically shrink your premium. Just remember to choose a deductible you can afford!
Combining your home and auto polices. Most insurers give a nice discount to homeowners who insure their vehicles with the same company.
Making home repairs. If you’ve recently replaced your roof, upgraded your plumbing, or purchased a new heating system, you may be eligible for a discount!
Installing electronic alarms and fire safety equipment. Make sure to tell your agent if you have an electronic anti-theft alarm, sprinklers or live near a fire department. All of these things may be worthy of a premium discount.