Protecting your home: What insurance do you need?

Whether you just bought your first home (congratulations!) or you’ve been settled in your humble abode for several years, it’s important to think about how you’re protecting your property. In an ideal world, nothing would ever happen to threaten the safety of your life and loved ones in your home. But there’s no harm in being prepared!

You may be thinking… I bought homeowners insurance, doesn’t that cover everything? Probably not. Policies vary, but typically, risks posed by some natural disasters (floods, earthquakes, volcano, etc.) are not included in a standard insurance policy. If they are, coverage is limited.

Obviously, not everyone has to worry about threats like flooding or earthquakes. But for many in the Pacific Northwest, flood insurance is a necessity. Water is everywhere in the region, and it’s not uncommon for rivers to rise dramatically during the wetter fall and winter months. If your property is located in a flood-prone area, your lender may require you to have flood insurance. But even if it’s not required, you may still want to protect your home from raging waters. Your insurance agent can check your flood risk and help guide you to make the best decision.

In addition to flood insurance, there are other options you might want to consider and learn more about:

Earthquake: May require inspection of your property to determine potential risks, based on your home’s construction.

Landslide: Coverage may be rolled into earthquake insurance, but double check! Your standard homeowner insurance policy could cover landslides, but only under certain conditions. When in doubt, consider supplemental insurance.

Volcano: Good news! Most homeowner insurance covers at least some damage due to volcanic eruptions. Take the time to review the specifics of your policy to ensure you’re covered.

Give yourself peace of mind! Reading through the fine print isn’t always fun, but you’ll thank yourself later.

These steps can help you get the coverage you need to protect your home.

– Research what’s covered and what’s not in a standard home insurance policy (or your existing policy).
– Still have questions about coverage? Is the policy jargon confusing? Contact your state’s insurance commissioner.
– Plan ahead for ongoing insurance costs. They can change over time.
– Go shopping! Just like auto insurance, you should research and compare costs to find the best coverage for the best price.

— By Charly Tate, Coldwell Banker Bain

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