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Insurance Tips For New Homeowners


You've unpacked your things and settled into your new home. But have you thought about how this will affect your insurance needs? Buying a home involves more than just making sure you have homeowners insurance coverage. If you've recently purchased a home, here are some types of insurance that may be impacted by your recent move.

Homeowners insurance
If you have a mortgage, your lender probably required you to obtain some level of homeowners insurance coverage. However, you'll want to make sure that the amount of coverage that you have will adequately protect you for all possible losses. Homeowners policies set coverage limits for specific items (e.g., jewelry), so you may want to look into purchasing a separate endorsement or a floater if you feel that you need to increase your coverage. You also need to know if you have "replacement cost" coverage on your personal property and if you are covered for earthquake damage.

Flood insurance
Homeowners insurance does not provide coverage for flood damage. But those living on a riverbank or near the ocean are not the only ones who warrant flood protection. Even if you live in a low-lying area (e.g., near a creek), you may want to look into purchasing flood insurance. Most companies that sell homeowners insurance also sell flood insurance, so try contacting your own insurance company for more information.

Auto insurance
If you think that there is no connection between buying a home and auto insurance, think again. If you're ever in an auto accident that is the result of your negligence, all of your assets (including your home) could be subject to liability claims if the claims exceed the liability limits of your auto insurance policy. So, you should re-evaluate the existing liability limits on your auto insurance policy to make sure that you have adequate coverage to protect your home. If you feel that you need even more coverage, you may want to look into purchasing a separate umbrella liability policy, which would pay for damages that exceed the coverage limits on your auto and/or homeowners insurance policy.

Disability insurance
Would you be able to make your monthly mortgage payments if you were unable to work due to an accident or illness? A disability insurance policy will pay you a monthly benefit to replace a portion of your income until you are able to work again. Many employers provide disability insurance for their employees. If your employer does not offer disability insurance or if you are self-employed, you can purchase an individual disability policy.

Life insurance
What if you were to die before your mortgage was paid off? Would your family be able to keep up with the remaining mortgage payments? Life insurance can provide your family with the funds to pay off their debts, as well as replace a portion of your income. While many employers offer some level of life insurance coverage to their employees, this amount of coverage may not be enough to provide financial security to your family. So, you may want to consult an insurance professional to help you assess your family's life insurance needs.