Homeowners insurance protects you from financial loss if something accidentally happens to your house. It’s usually required by mortgage companies, but even if it’s not, it’s a good thing to have. A homeowners insurance policy is there to provide peace of mind and a financial safety net if anything happens to your home.
Your exact coverage will depend on your plan, but there are four basic categories of protection:
This protects the physical space you call home and any attached buildings or structures such as porches, fences and sheds. It protects them from damage caused by events like fire, hail, lightning and other natural disasters. Depending on your policy, you may need to buy extra insurance for protection against floods, hurricanes and earthquakes.
A home is more than four walls and a roof—you also need protection for what’s inside. Personal belongings include possessions in your home that have been damaged or stolen in a covered incident.
Liability coverage protects you from lawsuits if you or a family member are responsible for an injury to someone outside of your household. It also protects you if your pets injure someone or damage property.
If your home is damaged so badly that you are unable to live in it, additional living expenses (ALE) will help you with hotel bills, restaurant meals and other cost-of-living expenses.
Items not covered by homeowners insurance include intentional damage, neglect, normal wear and tear, infestation or power failure. You may also need separate insurance for natural disasters like floods, earthquakes and hurricanes.
Also note that while homeowners insurance may cover medical care for others who were injured on your property, it won’t cover medical expenses for you or anyone else living in the home.
Home insurance is a little different from other forms of insurance because it has less to do with you and more to do with where you live. That said, there are a few things you can do to lower your premium:
I left my corporate job years ago to start my real estate career and initially signed on with a large well-known brokerage. From day-one, I felt like I was back in a corporate environment and it didn’t feel right. So I started searching around for a better fit and that’s when I decided to try working for a small independent brokerage. It was the best decision of my career.
Independent brokerages, like Cooper Realty, are hyper-local real estate agencies formed by brokers who wanted to break away from traditional large agencies and go at it on their own. I’ve always been someone who puts their money where their mouth is so deciding to be a part of a local company was a no-brainer.
Most independent brokerages focus on quality over quantity and that’s reflected in the rave reviews we get from our clients and our client referrals. We can more easily adapt to local environments and quickly make changes to our business without the bureaucratic red tape you find in large agencies. We tend to support local companies when practicing business and donate time and efforts to help local communities.
I believe that indie brokerages also look to bring on agents who align with their overall mission and vision in order to protect the brand that they’ve worked so hard to form. Their managing brokers tend to spend more time mentoring and guiding their agents - providing them with a wealth of market and industry knowledge.
This all translates into consumers getting a dedicated agent who is well-informed of local market trends and is fully committed to helping them achieve their desired goals. Further, when you choose an agent at Cooper Realty, you’re not just hiring a knowledgeable professional - you are also supporting local industry!
Written by: Joshua Coates, Realtor