Homeowners Insurance Information
Because everyone's needs are not the same, it is best to consult your agent to help assess your needs and find the insurance policy that is right for you. At Galezano Insurance, we can walk you through the process to make an informed decision based on your specific needs.
What is Homeowners insurance?
Homeowners insurance provides financial protection against disasters. A standard policy insures the home itself and the things you keep in it.
Homeowners insurance is a package policy. This means that it covers both damage to your property and your liability or legal responsibility for any injuries and property damage you or members of your family cause to other people. This includes damage caused by household pets, which may or may not be covered depending on which carrier you choose to secure coverage with.
Damage caused by most disasters is covered but there are exceptions. The most significant are damage caused by floods, earthquakes and poor maintenance. You must buy two separate policies for flood and earthquake coverage. Some carriers are offering a flood endorsement to be added to the homeowners policy for an additional premium, but most do not. Maintenance-related problems are the homeowners' responsibility.
Why do you need homeowners insurance?
It is really all about protecting yourself financially if something unexpected happens to your home or possessions. That's important because chances are your home is likely one of your largest investments.
- If your home was destroyed by fire or damaged by a natural disaster, you'd need money to repair or replace it.
- If a guest in your home is injured, liability protection and medical coverage help pay expenses.
- If you are a victim of theft and vandalism, it can reimburse you for your loss or pay for repairs.
- If you are still paying for your home, your lender will require insurance.
It is important to know that homeowners insurance is meant to cover unexpected damage, not routine maintenance. Ask your agent to talk about what is covered and be sure to read your policy so you know exactly what's included and what is not.
Things to consider and questions to ask your agent
Here are few things to discuss with your agent that will influence your decisions.
- How much will it cost to rebuild my house and replace my belongings if they are damaged or destroyed? (Ask your agent to talk you through your home's features and the things you own so you can make an informed decision about coverage.)
- Does the insurance company have a good reputation for customer service? Is it known for paying claims fairly and promptly?
- What discounts are available? (Ask about multiple policy, security system and fire resistance discounts.)
- What's the process for filing and settling a claim? (Ask who to call and what happens after you file a claim.)
- Discuss the separate hurricane deductible which can result in high out of pocket expenses in the event of a named storm
- If you own a home that is 40 years old or more, check your policy for a water damage exclusion. More and more carriers are excluding any water related loss and offering a limited $10,000 buyback for these older homes.
- Tell your agent what kind of pets you have. Animal liability is not automatically included. Some carriers will offer a buyback for $25,000 or $50,000 for an additional premium. Some carriers do not offer animal liability at all and some will not offer the buy back if it falls in the dangerous breed category.
- Expensive artwork, guns, jewelry, bikes and furs should be scheduled and/or insured on a separate policy if the carrier does not offer adequate limits.
- All terrain vehicles should be disclosed and discussed with your agent when purchasing homeowners insurance. Some carriers will require proof of a separate liability policy or may not be eligible for coverage
- Certain electrical panels are not acceptable for certain carriers, so please be sure to check the name of the manufacturer for a home that is over 5 years old.
- Pex Plumbing that is installed prior to 2012 can be ineligible for coverage with most carriers and Polybutylene Plumbing is very difficult to find a carrier to accept.
- Be sure to know the age of your air conditioning unit, hot water heater and roof when shopping for a quotation. Most carriers are inspecting properties and if information is not correct, a homeowner could be in a situation where the policy is set up to be cancelled or non-renewed for failing to meet underwriting guidelines.
Please call our office to discuss your personal situation and coverage options.
Homeowners Insurance Quote Forms
Looking for coverage? Click any of the following links to submit a quote for quick, accurate and affordable rates.
Homeowners Insurance Customer Service Options
Self policy service any time of the day, directly from our website. To request a policy change on your account, click any of the following policy service options below.